The Distant Hours
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The Distant Hours

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  30,769 ratings  ·  4,402 reviews
A long lost letter arrives in the post and Edie Burchill finds herself on a journey to Milderhurst Castle, a great but moldering old house, where the Blythe spinsters live and where her mother was billeted 50 years before as a 13 year old child during WWII. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives looking after the third and youngest sister, Ju...more
Hardcover, 562 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Atria
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The Forgotten Garden by Kate MortonThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe House at Riverton by Kate MortonThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Distant Hours by Kate Morton
Best Past-Present Books
5th out of 235 books — 294 voters
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane SetterfieldThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónRebecca by Daphne du MaurierThe Forgotten Garden by Kate MortonThe Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Modern Gothic
17th out of 266 books — 593 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeanette (Most of My Favorite Authors Are Dead)
Did you ever go to a Tupperware party where the hostess spent forever demonstrating all the gadgets in a dramatically effervescent voice? And at the end nobody bought anything? And there weren't even any refreshments being served to make it worth having shown up? And you didn't like any of the other people who came to the party?
This book is that party---all elaborate demonstration, no sale, no refreshment, and no one I care about.
Anna
I adored Kate Morton’s The House At Riverton and The Forgotten Garden, giving them both 5 stars, but delayed reading The Distant Hours after hearing so many bad reviews about it from people who, like me, loved those earlier books. I finally decided to take the plunge, hoping to disagree with the bad reviews.

Sadly, I don't. The Distant Hours is packed full of unnecessary detail and description. On and on it goes, page after page of long-winded waffle, page after page of no dialogue, no action an...more
Hannah
I loved Morton's earlier novel, The Forgotten Garden, and had high expectations for this one as well. If this book wasn't tailored made for my reading tastes, I don't know what would be:
- Ancient castle in the bucholic English countryside
- Past and present plotlines weaving and intersecting
- Homage to books, readers and the written word
- Gothic elements galore (including madness, forbidden love, family secrets, a lost letter, and a creepy children's story)

However, by the end of this massive 560...more
Carol
I welled up when this book ended & not just because I hated to see it end. One could weep over the sad lives of the 3 Blythe sisters, now elderly, & living with secrets that are beautifully & gradually revealed. The story jumps from the 1990's in London to the Milderhurst Castle during W.W.II and the present. When Edie Burchill encounters the 3 elderly sisters she is drawn into a family of secrets, whose "distant hours" are simply a wonder to read. It may be the best I've read since...more
Margaret
I abandoned the effort to read The Distant Hours about a third of the way in. I don’t know quite what to make of Kate Morton, whose writing (at least for me) gets increasingly annoying with every book she publishes. At some point she has begun to confuse languor with atmosphere, and the pace of this book is like sitting on the leading edge of an advancing glacier. It could be millennia before it gets where it’s going. Morton is plainly far more interested in the details of setting and landscape...more
Roger Kean
Is Kate Morton a women's writer? As an Ann Tyler and Maeve Binchy fan, I wouldn't know. I loved Morton's previous two books, and this one is even better. Flying back and forth in time between the evacuation of children from London prior to the blitz of 1941 and the modern day (1992), Book editor Edie Burchill uncovers the truth behind the creation of "The True History of the Mud Man," a spectacularly successful children's story written by the patriarch of Milderhurst Castle in Kent, now in the p...more
Stacy
I have recently finished reading this book and I just loved it! I had it finished in a week. A few times a got a little frustrated wanting to know the secrets but the wait was well worth it. There are a lot of secrets in this book.

I was worried it wasn't going to stack up to her two previous books due to some 'not so good' reviews I've read and heard. This book is a lot darker than her other two, but similar in the switching back and forth from the present to the past. Again, I love the way she...more
Christy B
I read the last hundred pages of The Distant Hours in the middle of a pretty intense storm. This just brought me even deeper into the story, where I felt as though I was a part of it. People who have finished The Distant Hours will know what I'm talking about.

I'm such a huge Kate Morton fan. I raved over her two previous books: The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden, so when I heard about The Distant Hours a year ago, I could not wait for it. I had such high expectations, and I figured,...more
Stephanie D.
If I only read one book this fall, I decided months ago, it would have to be The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. Kate Morton’s debut novel, The House of Riverton, held me so spellbound that as soon as I finished it, I read it again. Despite the fact that The House of Riverton left me emotionally drained, I eagerly pre-ordered her next novel, The Forgotten Garden, and devoured it in one sitting, heedless of the late hour and lack of sleep, when it finally came. I'm glad to report that her third eff...more
Britany
Kate Morton is a gifted storyteller. She has a gift for weaving multiple storylines together; add in mystery and some great character arcs and you have the premise for this novel.

Edie Burchill stumbles across Milderhurst castle and remembers that she has been there before... The story shifts back to the past and into present day. Edie's mother was evacuated to Milderhurst around WWII and has kept this a secret from her daughter. Milderhurst is the home of world renowned author Raymond Blythe, a...more
Andreia Silva
Estou extasiada!Eu não sei porque a Kate Morton não escreveu mais cedo, ou nem tem muitos livros publicados (tem três) porque a escrita desta senhora é fenomenal. E não é só a escrita, é o enredo, a forma de contar uma história mas nunca contando tudo de uma vez, a capacidade que tem de nos prender até à última página. Tal como no O Segredo da Casa de Riverton, também neste livro temos uma família (curiosamente, também com irmãs) cheia de segredos ocultos, macabros, que perduram no tempo até um...more
Laura
How can you not love a book that includes the following: "After all, it's the librarian's sworn purpose to bring books together with their one true reader."?

While the blurb calls this "gothic literature", it's more goth lit lite - the scary isn't there to the degree that I'd expect from that genre. Think more Rebecca than "Fall of the House of Usher." The switching between 1941 and 1992 helps, I think, keep the tone light. Of course there are some Dark Family Secrets that get revealed, and a Li...more
Cryssa
This was the first Kate Morton book I had ever read and I heard rave reviews over the Forgotten Garden. It started off great; I found her prose fresh and her descriptions unique. Kate Morton is clearly a talented author but I think she failed with this book. She could have really benefited from tight editing.

I didn't understand her structure in the least. Switching from a first person narrative to a third person narrative, using different view points was distracting. That was the first snag I h...more
Veronica
I was very disappointed with this. I enjoyed her two previous books, without thinking they were masterpieces -- just long, lazy holiday reads. But this one began to seem awfully long, with too little substance and far too much padding. From the start, I felt the present-day first person narrative and the parts told in the third person and set in 1941 didn't sit well together. I did enjoy the 1941 parts at first; Middleton is still superb at evoking an atmosphere in the past with lots of period d...more
Jennifer Jensen (Literally Jen)
I absolutely loved The Forgotten Garden and really enjoyed The House at Riverton, so why did I have so much trouble getting into this one?

I have been picking this book up, putting it down again, and then leaving it alone for huge chunks of time. Then I feel obligated to go back to reading it, and have to "assign" myself page numbers to read or I just won't do it. That's not at all what reading should be about.

It could just be a mood thing on this one, but after reading so many negative reviews o...more
Clarinda
Com uma forma muito própria de contar histórias e com uma linguagem muito rica e bem estruturada, Kate Morton, aposta na alternância passado/presente da narrativa para nos prender do princípio ao fim do livro. Houve uma altura que “arrefeceu” um pouco a narrativa, mas com a continuação da leitura apercebemo-nos de que essa parte da história é importantíssima para a sua compreensão. O enredo bem construído leva-nos a uma leitura intensa, cheia de mistérios de morte e amor, perdidos nas horas dist...more
Erin
Any book over 500 pages makes me narrow my eyes suspiciously. There is so much room for extraneous things in a book that size. I was pleasantly surprised to find nothing extraneous whatsoever in The Distant Hours. It’s so long because Morton doesn’t just focus on a few main mysteries. Instead, she weaves in all manner of smaller unknowns that click into place one by one, usually just when the reader has nearly forgotten about them completely. The result is an extremely complex and masterfully wo...more
Abigail
After Morton's fantastic The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden, I had incredibly high expectations of The Distant Hours. When it finally arrived pre-ordered from Amazon, almost 700 pages long and complete with one of those ribbon bookmark things sewn into the binding, I dove in. While Morton's latest has a lot of the elements that made her previous work shine -- literary and family mysteries, an old house full of secrets, tragic love affairs, lost letters, an engaging protagonist -- the...more
Regan
This was my first read by Kate Morton...and wow...absolutely stunning. I was completely lost in this novel and spent a good solid two days doing nothing but reading. I was constantly guessing at the many secrets and proved pleasantly right sometimes and shocked at others. The mixture of past and present, unfolding of long kept secrets, and deep insights from many points of view made this book perfection to me.
Filipa


Todos os leitores têm as suas pequenas manias, por muito estranhas que sejam. Eu, tenho várias, sendo que uma delas consiste em ler, por ordem de publicação, as obras de um autor/a - nos casos, em que as mesmas são individuais, claro. Por isso mesmo, parece estranho e altamente contraditório eu dizer que a minha estreia com esta autora se fez de uma maneira completamente oposta. Infelizmente, não tive mesmo opção (por este livro me ter sido emprestado pelo blogue My Imaginarium) e tive de lhe da...more
A. R.
What a disappointment!!!! I loved 'The Forgotten Garden'. It's one of my favorite books to recommend so naturally I was excited to read another work by Kate Morton. I found the entire story to long, to drawn out and lacking any real emotion. It was an effort to finish. With the exception of one or two chapters about the relationship between Thomas Cavill and Juniper Blythe it felt like a narration you would find in the newspaper.

I had the ending figured out three hundred pages into the book and...more
O retiro do Opinanço
http://the-door-to-my-imaginarium.blo...

Sempre tive um interesse enorme em ler os livros de Kate Morton. Tive a minha primeira oportunidade em “As horas distantes”.
O livro é um género que mistura especialmente elementos de romance e fantasia.
A personagem principal é Edith, que após a mãe receber uma carta extraviada nos correios por mais de 50 anos, irá ficar obecada em descobrir o segredo que liga a mãe ao remetente da carta.
A acção decorre em duas épocas: Na época presente, representada por Ed...more
Sylvie
I settled down with relish to read Distant Hours, having loved The House at Riverton; I am now at page 250 and about to lose the will to live. I thought I'd look at the reviews to see if I was in the minority (which clearly I am) but I see now that I am not going to miss much by giving up on this punishing endeavour now. This book is far too big. Physically it is a nuisance to read in bed and elsewhere; as literature it is surely guilty of words for words' sake. Morton has an excellent knack of...more
Kathy B.
Of the three Morton novels thus far, this latest offering is my third favorite. That doesn't mean it wasn't a great read, just that this particular one for me was a bit too depressing in its wasted potential of human lives. Again, that doesn't mean I'm sorry that I read it. Kate Morton knows how to tell a great tale, and The Distant Hours has plenty to grab and keep your attention. The Blythe sisters were compelling characters, with their life stories taking wonderful twists and turns. The castl...more
Filipa
Este foi o livro que mais ansiei por ter e ler em 2012. Assim que vi que era um livro de Kate Morton associado à belíssima capa, quase nem olhei para a sinopse. . . sabia que o ia adorar. E. . . assim foi.

Kate Morton mais uma vez deslumbra quem a lê com a sua capacidade de brincar com as palavras, frases e com a cereja no topo do bolo, a sua imaginação.
Conta histórias de uma maneira que ainda não vi igual, para mim é e continuará a ser uma autora de eleição, conquistou-me comnpletamente e serei...more
Jennifer
3.5 Stars

Genres: gothic, historical fiction, mystery, contemporary fiction
Setting: England during World War II and the early 1990s.

Previously Read Author? yes
Will read more from this author? definitely

The Distant Hours is a wonderfully atmospheric story that unravels for the most part in a World War II setting. The tone of the story is set by a creepy castle, eccentric and even mad inhabitants, numerous tragedies, and strange and complex sibling relationship dynamics.

Edie discovers that her mo...more
Janset Atacan
Oh,tanrım.Derin bir nefes almalıyım,çünkü bu kitap beni bir şeyler hissetmeye zorladı.Acı,sevgi,dostluk ve sahip olamamanın acısı*
Nereden başlamalıyım bilmiyorum,hatta bu kitabın sonu ve başlangıcı olup olmadığından bile emin değilim.
Kitap Çamur Adamın Hikayesi'nin giriş bölümüyle başlıyor.Çamur Adam,küçük bir kızın kabusu ve umudunu yitirmiş bir adamın yeni serüveni.
Blytheler Milderhurst Kalesi'nde yaşayan 3 kız kardeş.Hikayeleri çok eskilere dayanıyor.
Juniper;uçarı bir genç kız.Kanında ''delil...more
Morgan
The themes in each of Kate Morton's three books are similar, yet she presents them in new and interesting ways each time, and they never fail to leave me in tears by the end. This book was so perfect, so haunting, so lovingly written and so tragic that even though I loved it very much it was painful to read... the kind of pain when fate intervenes at all the wrong times and you just know that something tragic is going to happen. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't feel like these are spoiler-ri...more
Amy Flynn
Loved it!

I picked up one of her other books "The Forgotten Garden" on a discount rack a while back and enjoyed it so when I saw a new release with a story set during a WWII backdrop (my favorite) I decided to go for the hardcover. I was not disappointed.

Last night I couldn't go to sleep without finishing it! It is one of those stories that reminds you of the old classics - love, ghosts, mystery, tragedy, madness. The mystery is slowly revealed, jumping back and forth between time and character p...more
Felice
I was raised on mini-series and multi-generational novels. If it was a chubby saga that covered a minimum of forty years I was all over it. I am author Kate Morton's demographic. With The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden Morton established herself as the go to girl for Gothic adventure. She has set a new standard for the long suffering heroine. It's all very enthralling: long hidden secrets, lies, betrayals, misplaced loyalties, lovers torn apart, unwanted pregnancies, class structures...more
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The Distant Hours 4 41 Dec 01, 2013 08:53PM  
I didn't get some points... 3 84 Jul 16, 2013 10:13AM  
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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
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“I don’t have many friends, not the living, breathing sort at any rate. And I don’t mean that in a sad and lonely way; I’m just not the type of person who accumulates friends or enjoys crowds. I’m good with words, but not spoken kind; I’ve often thought what a marvelous thing it would be if I could only conduct relationships on paper. And I suppose, in a sense, that’s what I do, for I’ve hundreds of the other sort, the friends contained within bindings, pages after glorious pages of ink, stories that unfold the same way every time but never lose their joy, that take me by the hand and lead me through doorways into worlds of great terror and rapturous delight. Exciting, worthy, reliable companions - full of wise counsel, some of them - but sadly ill-equipped to offer the use of a spare bedroom for a month or two.” 119 likes
“when you love someone you’ll do just about anything to keep them.” 42 likes
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