Everything Old is New Again, and Vice Versa

The other week a colleague alerted me to a nifty website from Penguin Books (UK) titled Red Recommendations that matches contemporary books to classics. So you enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible? Check out Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Adore the rich atmosphere, characters and descriptions in Fingersmith by Sarah Waters? You should finally get around to reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. You read Chocolat and it's sequel by Joanne Harris and don't know where to turn next? Why not try Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac?

So I was amazed when I picked up The House at Riverton (previously reviewed by Helen), a new book by Kate Morton, and read the first two lines: "Last November I had a nightmare. It was 1924 and I was at Riverton again." Was this to be Rebecca all over again? And if so, how fabulous would that be!

I finished it last night and it was great - family secrets, an interesting time and place in history (early 1900s England), characters I didn't particularly like, but was fascinated by, and some really decent writing. A perfect summer read (even though summer feels like it will never come to Portland). If you're on the waiting list for Riverton, go pick up Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. And if you've read and loved them both, try these other great titles: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, The Dark Lantern by Gerri Brightwell, Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, and The Crimson Portrait by Jody Shields.