Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Distant Hours - Fiction Review

Goodreads:  The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

Rating: Good
Source:  Purchased

Description:  A long lost letter arrives in the post and Edie Burchill finds herself on a journey to Milderhurst Castle, a great but moldering old house, where the Blythe spinsters live and where her mother was billeted 50 years before as a 13 year old child during WWII. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives looking after the third and youngest sister, Juniper, who hasn’t been the same since her fiance jilted her in 1941.
Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother’s past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in ‘the distant hours’ of the past has been waiting a long time for someone to find it.

Genre: Fiction 

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really enjoyed other books by Morton and that blurb really grabbed me.

My Impression:  Kate Morton is the master of unsettling and vividly painted settings and this one was no exceptionI loved Milderhurst Castle though I most definitely wouldn't want to spend the night there!  It's every inch a true Gothic castle with twisty hallways, dusty rooms and lots and lots of secrets.  I really enjoyed Edie's investigation into just what happened at the castle and how was her mother involved.  In some ways Edie was getting to know her mother more then she was getting to know the castle inhabitants which I really liked.  The three Blythe sisters definitely don't live up to their name and I don't think I've come across a more subtly unhappy and dysfunctional trio. 

My main issue with this is that it never felt like it quite gelled.  The author had a fantastic premise but wasn't able to tie in together completely.  I did know what happened by the end but I didn't feel like everything was addressed or actually made sense with the ending.  As well the pacing felt just a bit slow and I wasn't pulled in quite as much as I expect to be by Morton's books.  This isn't a bad read - in fact it's a pretty good read - but it just isn't as good as I expect from this author.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Of course!  I always enjoy Morton's books.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Of all the Morton  books I've read this is the last one I'd recommend.  It's not bad but I just didn't enjoy it as much as The Secret Keeper,   The Forgotten Garden, or The Lake House.


  1. I have this one my TBR pile. I tried one of Morton's other books and had a difficult time getting into it. It has made me a bit gun shy of her books as a result. I am glad you enjoyed this one, even if it isn't a favorite.

  2. Yes does have a good premise. I haven't read many of her books but one day I might read a few more. I think this one might actually be on my shelf.

  3. I read this one a few years ago. In fact, it was the first Morton book that I read. I think that probably meant that I liked it more. I've read others, but not all as yet. I've been considering rereading this one or listening to it on audio. I think of the ones I've read up to now, THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN is probably my favorite.

  4. You had suggested this one to me and I read it around the same time as you. Now I don’t have any more Morton books, all caught up! I will say while I liked the book very much it was my least favorite of her books, she certainly can spin a tale and it all wraps up in the end.

  5. I know how much you like this author. I need to start again The Clockmaker's Daughter as I was actually enjoying the very beginning of it in the past.