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Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Distant Hours...Review

About the book:
Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives one Sunday afternoon 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 thirteen year old girl, Edie’s mother is chosen by the mysterious Juniper Blythe, and taken to live at Milderhurst Castle with the Blythe family: Juniper, her twin sisters and their father, Raymond, author of the 1918 children’s classic The True History of the Mud Man.

In the grand and glorious Milderhurst Castle, a new world opens up for Edie’s mother. She discovers the joys of books and fantasy and writing, but also, ultimately, the dangers.

Fifty years later, as Edie chases the answers to her mother’s riddle, she, too, is drawn to Milderhurst Castle 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.

This was one of those books that tried too hard to be fantastic. The premise is good.  The setting is good; I enjoy stories set in World War 2 Britain.  The story, while it has moments of brilliance, isn't that good.  It flips back and forth between 1992 and 1941 in a convoluted twist and never lives up to its potential.  The ending, where everything should finally come together and be revealed is anti-climatic. 

I never did connect with any characters.  I simply found myself impatient for the story to be over.  I should have stopped reading, but I kept wanting to give the book the chance to redeem itself.  It never did.

Thanks to Atria Books through Shelf Awareness for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Kate Morton here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 2/11

* *
2/5 Stars


  1. Thats a shame, I love Kate Morton. The Forgotten Garden was a fabulous read.