Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother’s emotional distance masks an old secret. Evacuated from London as a 13-year-old girl, Edie’s mother is chosen by the mysterious Juniper Blythe, and taken to live at Milderhurst Castle with the Blythe family.
Fifty years later, Edie too is drawn to Milderhurst and the eccentric Sisters Blythe. Old ladies now, the three still live together, the twins nursing Juniper, whose abandonment by her fiancé in 1941 plunged her into madness. Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother’s past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst Castle, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in the distant hours has been waiting a long time for someone to find it.
©2010 Kate Morton (P)2010 Kate Morton
intriguing, historical, haunting
mud man at the window
very easy to listen to
dreams and reality
really enjoyed it!
A riveting read! The Distant Hours is spellbinding and kept me in suspense until the very end. The war-time era is very well described and the characters believable. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery.
"Not enough hours ....."
What can I say? I have read all of Kate Morton that you have to offer and now feel a need for more. She is a brilliant story teller and the book, as usual, is narrated magnificintly.
This book is super duper long ...... which for me, is a huge plus with an audio book. Once you get going you never want this book to end! This is a lovely book that takes you back in time and is wonderfully written and red. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have now read all of Kate Morton's books and I'm hungry for more!
"A bit disappointing, but not a lost cause"
The concept of the story was what initially enticed me to chose The Distant Hours. I love anything to do with books, castles, and dark family secrets. I have read Morton's The Forgotten Garden and really enjoyed it so I thought I would give another one a go and this book has such great reviews, how could I go wrong! However, this audio book fell a little flat for me. Like I said, conceptually this is a great story. It is entertaining and it kept me guessing the whole way through. What I didn't enjoy though was that Morton drags some parts of the story on for ages! I really wish she had cut down the parts about Milderhurst Castle during the war and maybe spent more time focusing on either Eddie's life, or the relationship between Raymond Blythe and his daughter Juniper. There is way too much unnecessary information pumped into the middle of the book and I had a hard time keeping interested in the story. The other thing that bothers me about The Distant Hours is the random sub-plots that do nothing to add to the essential story and feel like empty fillings instead of essential plot elements. One example being the hinted-at lesbian relationship between Percy and Lucy. It just seemed so random to me, as if Morton was just trying to throw in obscure elements for the sake of another plot twist. The book already has enough interesting plot twist to not need trivial ones.
On the good side of things, I thought that the characters were all fairly well developed (except for Seraphina). I like it when an author can actually make me shout out loud and shake my fist at characters out of anger when they do something irritating (such as when Percy stops Seraphina from pursuing her dreams of leaving the castle).
Overall a good concept and a decent enough performance, but very boring at times and some of the plot twists seem a bit forced. If someone is interested in getting into Kate Morton's books, I think I would recommend The Forgotten Garden first over The Distant Hours.
"The Best Book"
a very engaging story, had me hooked from the start, thought I had figured it out, but was delightfully surprised by the end.
Meredith - fragile, full of wonder.
same as above
Juniper - hard to say why.
listened twice, wanted to catch things that I missed 1st time.
this book is long. It is an experience meant to be enjoyed and savored all the way along. If you like excitement and fast-paced action, this is not the book for you.
Kate Morton's strength is her ability to transport readers to another place and time and envelop them in the story. Her descriptions are vivid and detailed, her characters complex.
As in her previous novels the Hidden Garden and The Shifting Fog, the suspense builds slowly. It took me some time to 'get into' the story, but once I did, i ended up racing to find time to listen to the last few hours, when the plot threads start to come together and I tried to figure them out. If you think you have solved the mystery before the end, don't be too sure, things are not what they seem. Morton deliberately leads the reader down several false paths before revealing the truth.
Since this is the third of Morton's novels read by Caroline Lee, i simply cannot imagine another reader. She personifies the style of Morton's novels, and does the characters' accents so well.
I can't wait to read the Secret Keeper.
It is the first I listened, but a great way to beginning. You will not be disappointed.
The voices that came to life.
Persy Blyde, she gave you the wrong impression, but in the end she was a caring person.
Abridged version of parts 1 and 2 in order to reach part 3 sooner
Get to the "meat" of the story sooner
This was my third Kate Morton book. I really enjoyed the first two and had high expectations of this one. It was just "ok" and I found myself bored.
"o m g"
it's just soo good! cate morton is amazing and Caroline Lee makes all her stories come alive! I am devastated that I've now finished all her books... what do to with my life now?!?
"Good, but not the best of Kate Morton"
Yes, because I think Caroline Lee understand the author story, so the parthership between the two is perfect.
Yes, I love this author, but this book isn't one of the best I listening. This story has some many secrets, and finish with everything being revealed so unexpectedly only to happen what happened with the three sisters? No. Kate Morton has better books than this. For example - The Lake House or The Forgotten Garden... This book, in my opinion, isgood, but there are betters.
In my opinion, Caroline Lee has a tone that is appropriate to the rhythm daa story. she manages to capture the listener's attention and convey every emotion experienced by the characters.
After all, yes. Although, for me, it is not one of the best Kate Morton books.
I had just finished The Forgotten Garden, also by Kate Morton. I was so in love with that story that I didn't want it to end. So I bought The Distant Hours and in all honesty it was a bit disappointing.
It is a beautiful story but soooo loooooong. It takes forever for the first 2 parts to finish and especially when you listen to a story that can get boring. I usually start skimming over a few pages if that happens when I read a hard copy but in this case I was trapped.
The story is beautiful though, very nice narration (however if an Australian accent that pronounces schedule as shedule annoys you when the setting is in a castle in Britain then you are warned right now). It didn't bother me that much.
Once I struggled through part 1 and 2 it got better.
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