The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's killing me that I don't know anyone who has already read this book because I am dying to talk to someone about the ending! The overarching plot line is the suicide of a young poet witnessed by two sisters, Hannah and Emmeline. Grace, now an elderly woman recounting her days as a servant in the girls' home, harbors a sense of guilt and we know there is more to this story than meets the eye.
As the book continued toward its conclusion, I could not put it down. It was a little slow going at first, but once I kept reading, I just couldn't stop. This is what you would call a gothic mystery, set in 1920's England and filled with family secrets, an old country house, and an almost unbearable amount of sadness and death. But, it also contains some brilliant bursts of happiness that I truly enjoyed reading. We know from the very beginning where the book will end, we just don't quite know how the story is going to get there.
I give this book exceptionally high marks because I was not able to figure out the narrator's secret until the very moment the truth is revealed. As a reader, I love being surprised and hate it when I see things coming from a mile away (in a book with mystery elements, anyway; I am still a sucker for predictable romances). That being said, there is more than one surprise in this book and one of the more minor ones I did figure out pretty early on. I'm fairly sure that most readers who are half paying attention would also figure out the same secret I did. This is not the type of book to have a happy ending, but the grand finale is grand indeed and just might leave you breathless. You'll have to read it yourself to find out because I'll never tell!