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The Shifting Fog

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  58,303 ratings  ·  5,630 reviews
Summer 1924

On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999

Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Gho
Paperback, 480 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Allen & Unwin (first published 2006)
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Susan Nooooo. That is why I keep reading otherwise it's a "Downton Abbey" drama. I really liked the beginning but am getting bored as I'm about 2/3 through…moreNooooo. That is why I keep reading otherwise it's a "Downton Abbey" drama. I really liked the beginning but am getting bored as I'm about 2/3 through it.(less)
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Community Reviews

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I probably would have enjoyed Kate Morton's debut novel The House at Riverton more if I had not already experienced the greater expression of her writing talent in The Forgotten Garden. Riverton shares many of the themes of her later work, but with the narrator at a greater remove from the focus of the story, it tends to make her characterizations a bit flat. The story of the Hartford family, focused on the sisters Hannah and Emmeline is told by Grace, a servant to the family for many years. Her ...more
An enjoyable story and a beautiful historical setting marred by clumsy story telling, overbearing foreshadowing, and an emotional disconnect with characters.
I wanted to read this book because it looked as if it had a lot of elements I really enjoy: Gothic type mystery, haunted house, family secrets, World War I, the 1920s. The book concerns sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, aristocratic children who grow up over the course of the book. They chafe at the constraints of their class and find themselves floundering in the chaos of the 1920s. The other main character in the book is the narrator Grace, a housemaid at Riverton. She has her own unique c ...more
Jul 19, 2007 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like mysteries and books where family secrets are revealed
The House at Riverton tells the story of a Manor House in Essex during WW1 and the beginning of the 1920s, told from the perspective of a housemaid, now 98 and living in an old people's home in 1999. When she finds out that a film is being made of a tragic event at the house - the suicide of a young poet who fought in the war - she recounts her memories leading up to that night, and the part she played in it.
Of course, the story is not as simple as that, and many secrets have been kept for almos
Nov 11, 2008 Sandie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical novels devotees
This book is a must read for lovers of historical novels and enthralling, well-written, atmospheric mysteries, The House at Riverton is a literary feast for those who love writers like Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan or Daphne DuMaurier and books reminiscent of The Forsythe Saga, Upstairs,Downstairs and Water for Elephants.

In this page-turner of a novel, beautifully written and evocative of the era in England prior to and after World War 1, the author succeeds in weaving a complex tale of passion,
I had such high hopes! Our heroine, Grace, now a feisty but failing 98, spent her early life at Riverton House in the service of the Ashbury family...and then spent her adult life trying to forget about them. However, she's contacted by a filmmaker about the mysterious suicide of a World War I poet that occurred at the estate back in 1924. Is the set of the Riverton drawing room accurate? What was it like being a housemaid? Does Grace have any insight into the circumstances of the suicide? Why d ...more
I wanted to like this. High drama and love triangles at the country estate of a rich family during the Edwardian era -- all ending in the famous suicide on the family estate of a post-war poet. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, it could feel like a cobbled-together collection of Upstairs-Downstairs stereotypes, played-out female character archetypes, and plot twists and sub-plots that, after lots of set-up, amount to very little. Also, the book is told in flashbacks, and there were str ...more
Franco  Santos
Me gustó muchísimo este libro. Amo el estilo de escritura de Kate Morton, y en éste se lo puede apreciar al máximo.

Las fotografías nos obligan a contemplar a las personas antes de que su destino las abrume, antes de que conozcan su final.

La historia empieza un poco lenta; me costó engancharme. En algunas partes también se me hizo un poco pesado. Sin embargo, la prosa, el marco y los personajes me hicieron mantenerme sumergido en las páginas hasta altas horas de la madrugada.

A partir de la segu
I liked the idea of this book but thought it was sloppily thought out and executed. (Stop reading here if you haven't read this book yet as spoilers follow.) I mean, really, Hannah couldn't throw the gun in the lake rather than shooting her lover? Grace couldn't tell Hannah that she didn't know shorthand and got someone else to tell her what the first note said? And why did Hannah think Grace knew shorthand, anyway? She put a lot of work into learning it herself . . . I don't recall her ever tea ...more
Wonderful characters, setting, plot, I can't say enough. I was pleased that I was unable to guess the truth behind the secret at the end of the novel. I was surprised at the end which makes a work that much better in my mind. If you enjoyed Water For Elephants or The 13th Tale, you will like this work. A woman, from modern times, is in a nursing home and circumstances require her to remember her early years as a serving girl in a wealthy, British home during the WWI era. The author drifts back a ...more
This is my second book to read by Kate Morton. I absolutely love this author. The House At Riverton has great characters and is basically just a great story which is extremely well told. I loved Grace’s character and her telling of the story of the lives of the inhabitants at Riverton, both the descriptions of upstairs and downstairs in the great house and the various characters from both walks of life. The story is full of mystery and family secrets and had me hooked, absorbed and engrossed fro ...more
Morton’s novels are always fun reads for me and this one didn’t disappoint. With shades of du Maurier’s Rebecca and the BBC’s Downton Abbey, the book was a wonderful mystery.

We meet Grace at the end of her life. She is living out her days at a retirement home when she finds out a movie is being made about a dramatic event that happened in her youth. As a teenager Grace worked as a house maid at a large manor, Riverton, in the English countryside. A young poet committed suicide at the home one n
Andreia Silva
Entre acabar de ler o livro e escrever isto demorei! E demorei, não por falta de oportunidade, mas porque ainda me estava a recompor de toda aquela história. É daqueles livros que sei que vão ficar comigo, na minha cabeça, durante muito tempo e que vou recordar as personagens como sendo pessoas reais. Porque é assim que me sinto. Sinto que conheci a Hannah e a Emmeline e sinto que as vidas delas me passaram pelas mãos. Sinto que, em 1924 eu estava naquela festa e presenciei o "segredo". A histór ...more
This was the first, but likely not the last book I read by Kate Morton. It is quite long, which put me off for a while, though it had been sitting on my shelf for a year or so. I read it for the November Book Pals group and have to say, I am happy I finally did.
The story is part mystery, part historical fiction with some romance thrown in as well, so there is something for everyone:-)
Partly written in the present and partly via flashbacks, it tells the story of Grace, a former housemaid at the E
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Beautifully written like, The Shadow of the Wind, crafted like, Atonement, and very beloved like Downton Abbey!!!!

In this book, Riverton is more than just a mansion in England; it's a character in itself. It's an upstairs/downstairs tale of a servant named Grace, the Hartford sisters and secrets kept. My favorite thing about this book was the writing. Kate Morton is very talented. She knows how to draw people into her books by character development and holding certain information. I loved the wa
M.A.G.F. Lee
It wasn't my intention to buy "The House at Riverton". A salesperson at a local bookstore recommended "The Forgotten Garden", also by Kate Morton, but I wasn't sure if it's any good, so I said that I'll read some reviews first and think about it. And from what I've read, "The Forgotten Garden" is a must-read-gothic-mystery novel. I just had to purchase it.
I told my mom about the book, and she was also excited since we both have similar tastes in books and movies. When me and my mom went back to
I debated since finishing this book on what to rate it. Even now with having given it 3 stars I'm still wavering. I think perhaps it needs a half star more.

It's not that it's a bad book quite the contrary but there were just so many irksome things that for me detracted from the book as a whole.
The House at Riverton tells the story of the Hartford’s, the sisters Hannah and Emmeline specifically through the eyes of Grace their housemaid and later lady’s maid. The story is told through the memorie
This is one of the best written and most compelling books I have ever read - the suspense and the way the story unfolds demonstrates that it is the journey and not the destination that matters.

This story unfolds concurrently in the 1920s and 1999. Grace, in the 20s, is a housemaid and is promoted to a lady's maid. In 1999 she is an old lady living in a nursing home approaching death. The reader knows that Robbie McCourt, a poet, suicides at Riverton, in 1925, and we know that he really didn't su
4,5 stars

O Segredo da Casa de Riverton foi a primeira obra que Kate Morton apresentou ao público. Foi com este livro que o sucesso da autora se fez sentir pela primeira vez e até hoje, todas as suas obras têm tido muito sucesso por esse mundo fora. Apesar de não ter sido o primeiro livro da autora que li, não podia deixar de ler as restantes obras que a autora tem no mercado e por isso dentro dos dois livros que me faltavam ler, escolhi este para prime
I can't help but feel affection mingled with disappointment over this book. I was with it for so long, yet much of the journey was not enjoyable. A very sad and lengthy tale of broken dreams, misplaced loyalty and disappointment. I didn't strongly connect to any of the characters, but felt mild pity and compassion for most of them. Grace, the main character, was like the ghost of the story, appearing only in the present day as a frail and elderly woman, to recount her story. I think the author d ...more
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This is the second book I have read by Kate Morton and I just adore her. I actually listened to this one on audio and I enjoyed the story immensely, the narrator is superb and really adds a layer to the story. There are so many dimensions that add to what ultimately happens in this story and there is much debate as to why the narrator kept the secrets that she did. I enjoyed hearing about how the family members grew up and how different interactions with each shaped the people they became and in ...more
Nov 23, 2009 Alice rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: likers of historical, romantic fiction
Hmmm... Very readable, moving at times, and full of suspense. However, some slightly irritating traits, ie. 'non-Englishisms'
Kate Morton talks about 'Morning Tea', English people never, ever have this!! It's Afternoon Tea! There are many more inacuracies throughout the book, which are annoying because it does detract from the overall quality of the story.

Also, the 'mystery' behind Grace's father is dazzlingly clear from virtually the first page, and the final conclusion is also predictable if yo
Kathryn Class
4 1/2 stars really. Great story, though there is a gloomy feeling as you read because you know from the beginning that there is a terrible tragedy evolving. The gloom isn't oppressive though. Kate Morton balances the happy and foreboding feelings very well. I like that the ending was not exactly what I thought. I was almost right, but there was a twist that I hadn't considered. I wish the author had added two things to the story at the end, but I can't say what or it will spoil the ending for yo ...more
A good lesson taken from this book: if you don't know short-hand, don't lie about it. Lives and other people's happiness may depend on it, and you never know whether you're risking yourself a life full of guilt because you failed to admit it. Ask Grace and she'll tell you why.

I'm giving this book 3,5 stars rounded up to four because, despite all great reviews here on Goodreads, I wasn't able to enjoy it that much. The story is ok and very "Kate Morton", what with a character reminiscing about a
Разкошна книга!
Това е втората на Кейт Мортън, която чета!
Дай ми стар английски род, стара Англия,
драматични съдби и умел майстор на перото
да опише всичко това в заплетен сюжет и
те така снощи до 1:30ч., докато не я приключих.
Uau!! Gostei imenso deste livro e acho que consigo provar isso ao escrever esta opinião as 2:30 da manhã! Nunca pensei que um romance (não policial) me fizesse ficar tão em suspense mesmo até ao final da história, tendo em conta que tudo se resolve mesmo nas últimas páginas.

Não que tenha criado uma empatia especial com as personagens (excepto com a Grace, claro) mas acho que a construção da história está muito conseguida, pois a autora consegue habilmente transportar-nos de uma época para a out
The best thing about this novel is that it has huge cinematographic potential; it belongs to that wonderful category that includes films like "Howards End", "Maurice", "The Remains of the Day" or "Gosford Park" (shamefully, I haven’t read any of the books).

The writing in itself isn’t spectacular, though the story is good. Nice characters, nice setting, interesting plot. I wish the writer hadn’t told us beforehand what to expect at the end, though given the entire concept of the book (young wom
Christina White
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Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland, Australia. She has degrees in Dramatic Art and English Literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and two young sons in Brisbane.
Kate Morton's books have been published in 31 countries. The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New Y
More about Kate Morton...
The Forgotten Garden The Secret Keeper The Distant Hours Kate Morton Collection: The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden & The Distant Hours The Kate Morton Collection: The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden

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“It is a cruel, ironical art, photography. The dragging of captured moments into the future; moments that should have been allowed to be evaporate into the past; should exist only in memories, glimpsed through the fog of events that came after. Photographs force us to see people before their future weighed them down....” 340 likes
“I sound contemptuous, but I am not. I am interested--intrigued even--by the way time erases real lives, leaving only vague imprints. Blood and spirit fade away so that only names and dates remain.” 57 likes
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