The Distant Hours

The Distant Hours

by Kate Morton
3.8 542


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The Distant Hours 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 542 reviews.
Mirella More than 1 year ago
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.
Gram948 More than 1 year ago
Somewhere there is a great story lurking in the 560 pages of this book Ms Norton has the flair for a first rate pseudo-gothic novel, however it is buried very deeply under pages and pages of description which adds nothing to the overall atmosphere except to make the book rather dreary. Would not recommend this to most of my reader friends.
mapp More than 1 year ago
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.
LovesToReadBW More than 1 year ago
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.
OurBookAddiction More than 1 year ago
I was quite fascinated with this book even given its length. It's not the type of book you can just blow through. The author spends a lot of time with character development and you will do yourself a huge disservice if you don't take your time with it. I found the writing beautiful and the storyline enchanting. The physical descriptions of the castle made me feel as though I could close my eyes and reach out and touch the moldering walls. I did feel a bit of disconnect between the relevancy of Edie's mother and her relationship to the main story. I suppose it was the "open door" to bringing the reader into the castle in the first place. The next book I want to read by Kate Morton is The Forgotten Garden. She has an uncanny ability to transport her readers to a different place and time. I am eager to see if she can perform her magic in that one as well.
yowen2010 More than 1 year ago
It wasn't honestly the best book by Morton but it was good nonetheless. Enjoyable and interesting but just so.
Diam0nd_H3art More than 1 year ago
I loved Kate Morton's book The Forgotten Garden, I loved it so much I thought I'd try another one of her books. This book seemed to drag on, the beginning didn't capture me, and about 70 pages in it still hasn't grabbed me. I've tried my hardest to get interested in this book but each chapter is just boring. She does give very descriptive sceneries, but that's it. The character's are bland. I would recommend The Forgotten Garden, but that's all.
IamGiGi More than 1 year ago
Kate Morton has a way of telling stories....and makes them totally believable, just like the way my Grandmother told stories. This is the second of her books that I have read, and I'm looking to more! There is quality, and a substance to the book that is hard to describe. Just like bread pudding has a thickness to it, and is deliciously are Kate Morton's books! GiGi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written and takes you to another time and magical place.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good pace and intriguing
ItsBelle More than 1 year ago
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!
mjmutch More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know some feel the book was too long and too wordy....but to tell a good story and go back spanning 2 wars and a few generations of characters - I just found the words, descriptions and length a necessity in order to tell a good story and not miss anything. Morton weaves a good story and develops characters very well - I've read her first two books and thought they were wonderful. The Sisters Blythe needed a great deal of description since their characters were so totally different and they had their own secrets that had to be brought out and developed, as did Edie's mother - so many stories in their own lives as well as Meredith's and Edies....and intertwined to come out to the story in the end. I thought the story, plot and characters (and all those words) were amazing and told a wonderful story. Like The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden - I just enjoyed the characters so much I really hated to see the story end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was attracted to this book because of the plot--it seemed unique and different. However, I was disappointed and indifferent--overall: it's slow and rather dreary like most other reviewers have said. I found it boring and drab. It failed to keep my interest and I kept wondering when the pace would pick up. Some parts (such as when the sisters' pasts are revealed) did add some spark but failed to carry through for me. There were times when I honestly didn't even want to open the book again. Truthfully, save your $24--don't waste your money like I did.
a3love More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I could not put it down. I loved all the characters - they are so well-developed! I felt like I knew each one. The story line was totally original and creative. I was sad when it ended. I have read reviews that say the story line is too long & boring - I could not disagree more. It was perfect. This will be on my short list of favorites for a long, long time. I am looking forward to reading more of Kate Morton's books. LOVED IT!
knotdr More than 1 year ago
This book just dragged on and on. Some may call it character development but I found I cared less and knew little more as the chapters kept on. Not worth it, was great to read before sleep because it didn't capture you so I got lots of sleep.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful writing weaving a great plot with interesting, intrigueing characters.
NatalieTahoe More than 1 year ago
My first introduction to Kate Morton's writing was The House at Riverton. A Gothic tale, told within multiple timelines, and secrets galore, The Distant Hours is no different in that respect. However, I should start this post by asking you a question: When you were a kid, what was the story that grabbed you? Held you speechless as you turned each page and introduced you to the world of imagination and possibility? I can think of a few titles that capture this feeling for me, but for Edie in The Distant Hours, there will only ever be one. It is a celebrated classic, one that is a horror story of monumental proportions, but is simultaneously literary. The Mud Man, by Richard Blythe, a tale of horror, intrigue, and disturbing events that shake a young mind to their bones - this is the story that made Edie fall in love with books. As an adult, she now works in the publishing industry and has a somewhat strained relationship with her parents in which not much is shared about their young lives. Disjointed this may be, Edie is aware that when her mother was a child, she was one of the many evacuees in England during World War II, and was the only one safely stationed at Milderhurst Castle. Already a Gothic and mysterious home it is even more so filled with secrets since this was the home of the very author of The Mud Man. Edie was always curious about her mother's relationship to this castle and the family, and while on a business trip, she decides to take a slight detour and visit the famous castle. While there, she meets the three daughters of Raymond Blythe, now much older while on a tour of the house, and is invited back much later to write the introduction for the release of a new edition of their father's famous story. Back and forth between the 1930s and the 1990s, and told from different characters' perspectives, this is simply haunting and Gothic, through and through. Where did the story of The Mud Man truly come from? Why is the oldest sister, Percy, so gruff and cold? Why is the youngest, Juniper, still waiting for her fiancé, even though it's been over fifty years? And what really was their relationship with Edie's mother? Once again, as with The House at Riverton, I find I'm always mesmerized with the mystery, the characters, their sadness, and their regrets. The story is creepy and detailed, and while I thought the end was a bit too nicely wrapped up for this eloquently haunting story, I was absolutely satisfied yet again with Kate Morton's work. I look forward to downloading another audiobook from her, and Caroline Lee as the narrator was extremely impressive. My first time listening to her voice, and I look forward to more.
Rainbow-chaser More than 1 year ago
Once again Kate Morton doesn't fail to deliver a briliant reading!
Jessie Hanus More than 1 year ago
I just happened upon this book and I could'nt have been happier! I just loved the detail the author shares, and the characters are fantastic! This is a long book, which I love! More Please!!!!
X_in_SF More than 1 year ago
I loved her first two books. They were very easy reads and nice escapes after a long day at work. This book had a really great plot, and I loved the characters, but I found the writing to be too wordy and the descriptions too elaborate. It felt like the author had changed her style and it wasn't for the better. It wasn't really about the book being too long or going into too many details, it was just that all of the adjectives and adverbs and attempts to set the scene didn't really work and didn't add anything to the story except bulk. I found myself skipping over many sentences at a time during the parts where it was especially pronounced. It's really too bad because I found that the plot and the setting really interesting and would have had the extra pages devoted to more of the Mud Man then the failed attempt at being a "better" writer. Perhaps now that the author is successful, she is taking less advice from her editors?
SILZ More than 1 year ago
When I finished Kate Morton's House at Riverton I enthusiastically recommended it to EVERYONE I knew! And so I couldn't wait to read the Distant Hours. Despite Morton's well-fleshed characters and an intriguing premise, I found the book to be tedious, convoluted and therefore much too long. I DO look forward Morton's next creation - she's still my favorite author................
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
Once in a while you come across a book that imprints itself in your mind and touches you in so many ways. That's what happened when I read The Distant Hours. I adore this book and have it on my "to read again" shelf. I give it five stars.
Anonymous 12 months ago
I absolutely loved this book! The prose is so beautiful, personification so poetic, I loved that it was so long. I relished every word. I've read all four of her books and liked this one best. It ranks as one of my top favorites, and I have a huge virtual, as well as physical library.