Christy B's Reviews > The Distant Hours

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
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Nov 09, 10

bookshelves: arcs-and-galleys, favorites, fiction, historical-fiction, wwii, mystery
Read from October 24 to November 02, 2010

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, for once, I wouldn't be let down by them.

I was right. Oh, was I right. The Distant Hours was such a lush, dark, beautiful, sad, novel. I felt myself lost in it every time I picked it up. The mystery and the scenery. I was so caught up.

The story starts when a lost 50 year old letter arrives in the post. Edie watches her mother's reaction as she reads the letter and Edie immediately becomes curious. The curiosity leads her to Milderhurst Castle, home to the sisters Blythe and home to Edie's mother during the London Blitz. Edie finds twin sisters Percy and Saffy and their younger sister Juniper, who hasn't been quite the same since her fiancée abandoned her 50 years ago.

Edie finds there is much to their story. Much more. Nothing is as it seems, of course. Stories and legends that have been around for decades prove to be untrue. Just when you think you've got something figured out, you are not even close.

That happened to me. Many times. I wasn't right about a darn thing. Nothing was as it seemed. And even at the end, we find out that Edie's conclusion - what she believed was the truth - wasn't correct. However, it didn't matter. No matter how you looked at it, the ending was sad.

The Distant Hours was more character driven than plot driven, so therefore it's not for readers who like fast moving plots. The story weaves in and out of 1941 and 1992, switching back and forth seamlessly.

I took my time with this one, despite my desire to find out what happens, because I wanted it to last as long as possible. Like her previous novels, Morton has written another story that has permanently attached itself to my imagination. Its ending never leaving me. All the sad 'what ifs'.
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Quotes Christy B Liked

Kate Morton
“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.”
Kate Morton, The Distant Hours


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Cathy Peitz I read the conclusion to this book in a similar fashion. It definitely added to the experience of the book!


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