Agnes’s fiction pick
Grace is ninety –eight years old and lives in a nursing home.
She receives a letter from a movie producer who is interested in her time spent working at Riverton House as a maid between the First and Second World Wars. Specifically, the evening a young poet shot himself at a party there. As one of three witnesses to the event, Grace is the only remaining person who knows the truth about what happened.
The story is told in flashback between 1999 and her time at the house. There is the mystery too of Grace’s parentage and her bond with the two daughters of the house. There is wonderful suspense, but also sadness when war’s losses not only affect those on the battlefield but also those left behind.
This is also a story of the class attitudes of the period and of parents and children.
I really enjoyed this book. Ms. Morton teases with snippets of information about Grace’s life after Riverton and I desperately wanted to know the rest of her fascinating story. However, this probably is not to be, so I’ll just have to read another of her books. She left me wanting more – mission accomplished?!