I decided to buy this book after reading the magnificent ‘The Forgotten Garden’ by the same author. I had missed all the hype when it was on the Richard & Judy book list.
I found this a really good read, I liked the way that it was created through a series of flashbacks experienced by Grace, a housekeeper in the House At Riverton in the 1920’s, as she draws together her memoirs for her grandson, an author.
Telling the story of the family who lived in the House it talks throughout of the death of a famous poet at the house during a family party and makes clear from the start that the book will seek to answer the questions surrounding his death. And the book does this magnificently, if a little crammed into the last few chapters.
I found the book began to pad out nicely around the lives of the main characters and almost the death of the poet became a by-plot that the author felt compelled to finish rather than building the novel around this plot. I also feel that not enough attention was given to the paternity of Grace the Housemaid, a lot of build up is put into her finding out potentially whom her father is but this fails to be explored fully which was dissapointing.