Customer Reviews for

The Distant Hours

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

27 out of 28 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

10 out of 13 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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  • Posted October 24, 2010

    Great Historical Novel with mystery

    The Distant Hours
    October 12, 2010
    Kate Morton
    I haven't had the occasion to read any of Kate Morton's previous books but I was blown away by this one. I received an advance copy with a plain light blue cover and wasn't sure if it was something I would enjoy. This book is wonderful! Ms. Morton has combined the history of WWI and WWII, romance over the ages, intrigue with a little murder and the mysteries between sisters and the difficulties within families to communicate. I couldn't put the book down but was then disappointed when I finished. Some people are intimidated by a long book, but if the book is well written you don't even notice the length. I will now look for other books by Kate Morton and look forward to being equally entranced.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2010

    Mixed feelings

    I am not sure how I rate this story. It is poetically and beautifully written as one would expect from Kate Morton. However, I agree with what others have said about it being a bit long and drawn out. I was captivated by the characters and their tragedies. I didn't become absorbed into the tale until about the last two hundred pages, then, I couldn't put it down. I anticipated more from Meredith's character in the end, since she contributed so much mystery in the beginning. I felt like I had read a similar story somewhere before minus the mud man. I can't say as I was disappointed, but I had expected better. I am still a huge fan of Kate Morten's. I loved "The Forgotten Garden". It remains my favorite book. For Kate Morten fans "The Distant Hours" is still worth investing the time to read. It is a wonderful tale of love and tragedy.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Another Good One by Kate Morton

    This book has everything ... a castle, secrets, some kooky sisters, a murder. If you're looking for a book you can get lost in, this is it. I'm a fan of Kate's and love the way she writes and brings her characters to life. I also love the way she takes you back and forth through time effortlessly but doesn't reveal the whole story too fast, which of course leaves you on the edge of your seat and reading far into the night. You won't be disappointed with this one!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2011

    great read

    slow to start, but beautifully written and really picks up the pace at the end, great characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    loved it!

    This book starts slowly, in the voice of the person who knows the least. but it also start beautifully, and slowly builds momentum as more and more information is revealed. I was guessing and pondering and never did solve much myself. I really enjoyed this book and thought it was very well done and exciting. I loved her other 2 books, and this one did not disappoint.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    Nook Desciption Confuses

    The Nook description sounds lije a good book, just not THIS book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Another awesome book by Kate Morton

    Absolutely loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Recommend

    Great author, great read. I read all her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    good read

    not my favorite kate morton book, but a good read....interesting how she ties in all the characters with some surprising twists....good ending....enjoyed it

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  • Posted September 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Review title: Tell the Tale. Sometimes we want to leave our past

    Review title: Tell the Tale.
    Sometimes we want to leave our past behind, yet circumstances make that impossible. In "The Distant Hours" we are exposed to a tale that is decades old and filled with plenty of mystery and suspense. As a reader you will probably be rather intrigued by the tale that is woven here for you, it will hold your attention and keep you reading until you unravel the truth. At times the tale is so detailed that you may feel you are walking along right beside the protagonist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    The Nook description doesnt match the actual plot...

    This is a great book but the description on my Nook is completely different EXCEPT they both have the same named castle in both. Strange. Im not sure if anyone had that same issue. I am enjoying this story though...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    enjoyable

    Swept me away

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Well written--I enjoyed it!

    This was the third book of Kate Morton's that I read. Although I like The Forgotten Garden the best, this book was very enjoyable and I really got to care for the sisters. Come on Kate, give us some more! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Good read

    Not as great as the forgotten garden but still a good different story

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  • Posted March 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Page Turner!

    This story was great! Period piece - parallel between current time(1991-1992) and 1941. Think English countryside/London during WW2. A castle with unusual inhabitants( madness and family history), an old murder. A lead character who is linked to it all unknowingly at first. Well written. I was hooked from the first, wondering what happens next. Now I will read Kate Morton's other novels!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    A Page Turner to Be Sure! Kate Morton's Distant Hours excels in

    A Page Turner to Be Sure!

    Kate Morton's Distant Hours excels in bringing us close to the English countryside, its often stormy weather, a remote castle and the very remote residents within the castle who all thanks to Kate Morton's writing truly bring to life the well known phrase, "It was a dark and stormy night." This spellbinding mystery is brought to life not only by the characters but the setting, the outstanding description of this ancient spooky castle, its grounds, its secrets, often at the mercy of dark stormy weather. The castle and weather almost seem like additional characters because they influence so much of what takes place, decisions, actions, promised secrets, discovered mysteries. As much as I loved this book and highly recommend it I did think it had some(only a few) loose ends, some unexplained mysterious relationships, not terribly important but enticing enough to wonder about. Perhaps there were too many secrets to explain. Kate Morton's 2 earlier books seemed perfect or close to perfect in the way everything came together but when finishing this very absorbing book I thought that maybe there had just been too many family secrets to deal with or elaborate on. Maybe I just needed a discussion group to answer my questions. However, based on all 3 of her books I think she's an outstanding author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Good, although starts slowly.

    More good work frim Kate Morton, although not her best. Still, I enjoyed the gothic feel and the twists and turns of plot.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    Good

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted August 8, 2011

    Well done!

    Long but worth the time

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  • Posted June 18, 2011

    THE DISTANT HOURS

    Very interesting and it held my interest even though it was long. Strange and wonderful characters.

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