Customer Reviews for

The Distant Hours

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

29 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

A wonderful page-turning story

An ancient castle, dark family secrets, obsession, and madness are at the heart of Kate Morton's newest novel, The Distant Hours.

For most of their lives, a distance has always existed between Edie Burchill and her mother. Then one day, a letter, lost for decades, my...
An ancient castle, dark family secrets, obsession, and madness are at the heart of Kate Morton's newest novel, The Distant Hours.

For most of their lives, a distance has always existed between Edie Burchill and her mother. Then one day, a letter, lost for decades, mysteriously appears. Edie cannot help but burn with curiosity at her mother's reaction and the secrets of her past.

During World War II, Edie's mother, Meredith, was one of thousands of children evacuated from war torn London into the safety of the English countryside and into Millderhurst Castle owned by the Blythe family. There, Juniper Blythe and her twin sisters, Pen and Saffy, and their father Raymond, the author of a classic children's novel, make a home for the displaced girl. Enchanted by the magnificence of the castle and its family, Meredith is enthralled by her new, but temporary circumstances, and falls in love with her surroundings.

Decades later, gripped with curiosity of her mother's past, Edie travels to Millderhurst castle and meets the elderly and eccentric Blythe spinsters. Little by little, she discovers the dark secrets that lurk behind the castle walls and the real truth about the distant hours - the not too distant past.

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton is a masterful tale that unfolds slowly, one secret at a time, teasing the reader with every turn of the page. The setting itself is compelling - an ancient castle ravaged by time with plenty of secret rooms and passageways. I found all the characters enigmatic, each with their own fascinating story. There's a little of everything in this story - love, betrayal, murder, and tragedy and it all lends a powerful ambience from the start of this fabulous story to the powerful end. Kate Morton writes with detail and deep introspection, making the characters convincing and larger than life. One cannot help but like this story and admire the clever way it unfolds. I could not put this book down and it kept me awake at night as I was eager to read on to discover the next secret. It truly is a beautifully written story. If you like a cozy mystery that involves ancient castles with loads of mystery, this is a must to have on your reading list.

The Distant Hours is scheduled for release in early November. A very worthy novel that will be a bestseller! I have no doubt.

posted by Mirella on October 19, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Also Disappointed

Like a previous reviewer I think that this book could have used some better editing and lots less words on the part of the author. Having read and loved the first two books by this author, I pre-ordered and couldn't wait to get this one. There was an interesting plot an...
Like a previous reviewer I think that this book could have used some better editing and lots less words on the part of the author. Having read and loved the first two books by this author, I pre-ordered and couldn't wait to get this one. There was an interesting plot and some unexpected twists but the book could have been 150 pages shorter and been much more enjoyable.

posted by mapp on November 21, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2010

    Eagerly awaited this book: disappointed

    I loved Ms. Morton's first two books and assumed her writing would continue in its lovely vein. I NEVER give up on a book, but gave this one up 3/4 of the way through. It's almost as though a thirteen-year-old took over Morton's writing, with implausible plot points. Paragraph after paragraph of description, in one case a character's physical traits could have been edited down to two words: Miss Havisham. Sadly disappointed.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    just couldn't stay interested in it to finish!

    Rarely do I leave a book unfinished. I tried to stick with this one--but gave up. I do not recommend this one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2011

    disappointing

    I was so anxious to read this book after reading Forbidden Garden but was very disappointed. I felt as if the story line never took off with the ending very contrived. Think twice about this one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    This book was very disappointing. Boring, depressing and not w

    This book was very disappointing. Boring, depressing and not worth the money.

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  • Posted January 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I have read her first two books and loved them! This book was ju

    I have read her first two books and loved them! This book was just torture to try and get through. I tried reading it multiple times but the story line was slow and laborious at best. I was deeply disappointed in this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Such a dissapointed

    Such a loooong book..... With no climax.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    Where is my blue pencil?

    Did anyone edit this book, or was Ms. Morton's editor lulled to sleep by her previous successes?
    The story has potential, and could be exciting if someone with a keen eye had worked on it before it was published. I am reading it on my Kindle; otherwise I'd be lining through paragraphs. It would almost be worth buying a physical copy of the book just to see the effect.
    All of that said, I thoroughly enjoyed Kate Morton's previous two books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2010

    Disappointed

    I began reading The Distant Hours with much anticipation. I do so enjoy her prose. However there are many references to ghosts. In her Acknowledgements she credits, among other things, ghost stories as inspirtation. Therefore, I cannot reccomend this book. I hope that her future books will be different.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2010

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    Posted January 29, 2011

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    Posted January 24, 2011

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    Posted April 27, 2011

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    Posted September 2, 2011

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    Posted October 19, 2010

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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    Posted February 12, 2011

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    Posted March 11, 2011

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