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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘The House At Riverton’ by Kate Morton

‘Ghosts Stir’

Last November I had a nightmare.

It was 1924 and I was at Riverton again. All the doors hung wide open, silk billowing in the summer breeze. An orchestra perched high on the hill beneath the ancient maple, violins lilting lazily in the warmth. The air rang with pealing laughter and crystal, and the sky was the kind of blue we’d all thought the war had destroyed forever. One of the footmen, smart in black and white, poured champagne into the top of a tower of glass flutes and everyone clapped, delighting in the splendid wastage.

I saw myself, the way one does in dreams, moving among the guests. Moving slowly, much more slowly than one can in life, the others a blur of silk and sequins.

I was looking for someone.

To check out the full premise for ‘The House At Riverton’, simply click on the book image.

I have to come clean and say that this will be the second time I have read this lovely story.

After discussing Kate Morton’s books and writing style with a fellow blogger, I came across an old review of mine, written long before Fiction Books was conceived as a serious blog and even longer before I had given thought to becoming an Amazon or Goodreads reviewer.

Still having a copy of the book on my shelves, I therefore decided to tidy up the review, gather together the usual extra promotional material which feature as meme posts and treat this lovely story to the exposure it deserves, whilst adding it to my various portfolios.


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City ReaderWould the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

Click here and visit your host, Gilion @ Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Anne,

      I can’t quite remember all the little twists and turns of this storyline (and there were many!), however I am still enjoying the wonderful writing and intrigue woven by author Kate Morton. ‘The House At Riverton is a real page turner, even the second time around 🙂

    • Hi Karen,

      I have seen the full range of Kate Morton books on the library shelf, here in the UK, so hopefully you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting your hands on a copy.

      I must admit that I was only in the library on business and I haven’t actually used my membership in many years. In fact my library card is so far out of date, that I am unfamiliar with the automated check out and return service they all seem to have now.

      Not a very good advert for someone who believes passionately in the value of libraries!

      Thank you so much for stopping by Fiction Books today. I love meeting new people, so your visits will always be valued and your comments always appreciated.

      Have a great weekend 🙂

  • Convinced that I had read this but it seems not. Perhaps I have heard my mam talking about it.

    A sign of a good read that you felt the need to re-visit your previous review.

    I started reading my readers group read this morning.

    ‘There was a time in Africa the people could fly. Mauma told me this one night when I was ten years old.’
    – The Invention Of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.

      • Kelly,

        I really need to try one of this author’s books, they sound so good and so well thought through and investigated, before pen has been put to paper!

    • Hi Tracy,

      Will you stop with the mam reference, you have no idea how old you make me feel 🙂

      I definitely think you would enjoy Kate Morton’s style of writing – one to look out for on your travels anyway!

      Spooky first lines to ‘The Invention Of Wings’, this one is already on my ‘Want To Read’ list.

      I really thought I had read ‘The Secret Life Of Bees’, another Sue Monk Kidd novel, but I haven’t marked it on Goodreads and I can’t find a review anywhere, so I must have been dreaming!

      This is another author that I really need to catch up with 🙂

      Have a good weekend, despite the rather mixed up looking weather forecast!

    • Hi Cora,

      Thank you so much for stopping by Fiction Books this week. I love meeting new people, so your visits will always be welcome and your comments always appreciated.

      As this is the second time around reading ‘The House At Riverton’ for me, I knew what to expect after those few lines I shared today, however I doubt that the next few lines will be quite what you are expecting!!

      For me, Australian author, Kate Morton, really does tick all the boxes when it comes to writing women’s fiction and I hope that you think so too 🙂

      Have a good weekend, although the weather doesn’t sound too great after Saturday, at least not down south, here in Somerset.

    • Hi Vicki,

      Believe me .. the next paragraph is even more scary … but then this is a nightmare!

      If you take a look at the link to Kate Morton’s page at Fantastic Fiction, perhaps you will agree with me, that the cover art of her first two books is much more atmospheric than the new look of her later novels? She obviously changed cover artist, which doesn’t really work as well for me!


      I also didn’t realise that ‘The House At Riverton’ is also known as ‘The Shifting Fog’. I do wish that publishers wouldn’t do that .. it is so confusing!

      I hope that things are well with you and thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Hi Katherine,

      I have to admit that I possibly prefer the sound of ‘The House At Riverton’ and ‘The Forgotten Garden’ to Kate’s later stories, although fellow blogger Kelly, recently gave ‘The Distant Hours’ a glowing review and has in fact read all the books, finding it very difficult to rate one more highly than another.


      I do aim to try and read all the books, which in itself is a glowing reference to Kate Morton, as I generally only manage to read the odd one or two books by an author.

      The descriptive opening ‘nightmare’ scene, really does set the stage for the story to follow.

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend 🙂

  • Such a good book! – but you know how much I enjoy Kate Morton’s writing. 🙂

    I’m working my way through a biography that might seem dry and tedious if it weren’t about one of my favorite historical figures.

    “The spring weather was unsettled in Rome. The fifteenth of March was a public holiday, marking the end of winter. From the early morning, crowds of people had been streaming out of the city. It was almost as if Rome were being evacuated.”
    – Cicero by Anthony Everitt

    • Hi Kelly,

      I really do want to read more of Kate Morton’s work, no one seems to have a negative comment to make about either her books or style of writing.

      The original review I wrote was so badly put together, it isn’t a surprise I never added it to either Goodreads or Amazon when I joined. It was only when I was commenting on your excellent post and telling you that I had read ‘The House At Riverton’, that I remembered it. At least now I can add it to my inventory with some conviction 🙂

      ‘Cicero’ probably isn’t a book for me, although it is not such a chunkster read as I thought it might be!

      Don’t get me wrong, I used to love studying history and still have a keen interest in many different periods and times. It is simply that there just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to read and as I find myself snatching the odd few minutes here and there, novels are much the easier and more convenient group of genres to pick up at random. The more serious works of non-fiction demand more studious and concentrated effort, at least I think so!

      After your opening lines, I am left wondering where all the people of Rome are heading to, if the public holiday was just for one day on the fifteenth?

      Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend 🙂

  • The House At Riverton sounds deliciously atmospheric, especially if you are re-reading it. I look forward to your thoughts on it. Happy weekend 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      As you know, I don’t generally tend to read a book more than once, so I had only intended to skim through the book for the second time, in order to refresh my memory, to be able to form a sensible review.

      However, such is the descriptive power of the dialogue and the rather eerie storyline, I am finding myself lingering over certain passages, for much longer than I had envisaged.

      I am definitely going to be on the lookout for more of Kate Morton’s books!

      Thanks for the lovely comments, I always appreciate your visits 🙂

  • I’ve just started reading Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow. Opening lines:

    “In 1902 Father built a house at the crest of the Broadview Avenue hill in New Rochelle, New York. It was a three-story brown shingle with dormers, bay windows and a screened porch.”

    Nothing earth-shattering, but it still drew me into the book 🙂 When I start reading about a house, I want to step into it and explore it and find out about the people in it.

    Kate Morton’s books sounds like it has an interesting opening too.

    • Hi Hila,

      It sounds as though both our books open at more or less the same point in history, although on different sides of the Atlantic.

      Both houses sound intriguing, owned by well to do families, used to partying and, whilst my own book doesn’t really have any fantasy elements to it, there is definitely more going on than you can imagine from those first few lines!

      Despite your inviting opening lines, I’m not really sure that ‘Ragtime’ is a book I would enjoy and I am not sure also about the many different versions of the cover art .. very confusing!

      Thanks for sharing and I hope that you enjoy your book 🙂

Written by Yvonne