The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

Enthralling and haunting, Kate Morton’s latest novel tells a gothic story of betrayal, dark secrets, madness and love. Meredith and her daughter Edie have never been close, but when a letter arrives fifty years after it’s been posted and Meredith refuses to reveal its contents, Edie is determined to find out if her mother’s emotional distance could be related to her secret past. Thus, Edie sets off to unravel Meredith’s past, but she is about to learn more than she expected. Evacuated from London during the Blitz, Edie’s mother was chosen by Juniper Blythe and taken to live at Milderhurst Castle with her literary family. The Blythes were eccentric people, whose lives revolved around the decaying castle and the dreadful tales that enveloped it and the more Edie investigates, the more skeletons come out of the closet. And what eventually comes to the surface is a tragic and disturbing truth that altered lives and destroyed hopes.

The Distant Hours will satisfy readers as they will stray into a labyrinth of deceit, family intrigue and mystery. Kate Morton has managed to capture a gloomy atmosphere throughout the novel by using various gothic elements, creating a dark and compelling tale full of suspense, romance and fascinating characters that will linger with you for a long time.

Needless to say, I very much enjoyed Kate Morton’s third novel and I hope that her next books will be just as wonderful, as I am savoring her writing style, her memorable characters and her captivating plots to the fullest.

The Distant Hours was very entertaining and informative and I found its themes very interesting. I liked to learn about the Blitz and its consequences for the protagonists and I loved to read about the Blythes and their fascination with writing and storytelling. But what I liked most was to learn about Milderhurst Castle, as I found its vivid descriptions fascinating and absorbing; the eerie tales revolving around the Blythe family were also very engaging.

Also, as I was reading this novel, I was reminded of another book that I’ve read in the past, namely, I Capture the Castle. There are certain similarities between these two books – of course there’s the setting and then both novels centre on a literary family. But The Distant Hours has more to offer; there are more stories to tell (modern and old) and I must admit that I liked it more than Dodie Smith’s novel. Kate Morton’s story has more twists and turns and it allows the reader a glimpse into a forgotten world where nothing is as it seems and after you’ve unveiled Milderhurst’s hidden secrets, you will sympathize with the characters and will be able to understand them better.

All in all, The Distant Hours was the perfect read for me and I would give it five stars out of five, as I loved everything about it. I can’t say anything negative about this novel except that I was sad that I finished it so soon. I think I can safely add Kate Morton to the list of my favorite authors!

What about you? Have you read any of Kate Morton’s novels? If so, did you like them as much as I did?

Note: I would like to thank Panmacmillan for sending me this great novel!



11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandy
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 11:54:54

    I’ve had my eye on this one since it first came out, stopped from reading it only because my library doesn’t have the audio (yet). I listened to The House at Riverton and really really enjoyed it, even though it seemed just a tad bit too long. She is certainly capable of weaving a complicated, gothic tale! Great review!


  2. vivienne
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 12:24:14

    I didn’t realise this had a gothic feel to it, or it’s similarities to I Capture the Castle (one of my favourite books). I will definitely buy this one now. I loved The House at Riverton, but I have yet to read The Secret Garden.


  3. bermudaonion
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 12:42:47

    I haven’t read any of Morton’s books, but this one is in my TBR pile and I’m really looking forward to it!


  4. Darlene
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 21:45:09

    I love that you loved this one because I do have it to read as soon as I get around it. It sounds like such a great book and I’ve really heard nothing bad about all of her books.


  5. Melody
    Dec 15, 2010 @ 00:03:02

    A gothic tale! How could I miss it?! I’ll have to add this onto my wishlist! 😉


  6. ds
    Dec 15, 2010 @ 04:10:44

    You certainly make this sound intriguing, though I’ve not heard of the author before (head bowed in shame). Terrific review!


  7. Hannah
    Dec 15, 2010 @ 16:20:53

    I have this book to read on my Kindle. Thanks for your review–it definitely makes me want to read it! I also have a copy of I Capture the Castle which I have yet to read (though of course I’ve seen the movie). I also picked up a used copy of The Forgotten Garden the other day. I had given The Forgotten Garden to my grandma as a birthday gift a few years ago, but never found out how she liked it.


  8. Alice Teh
    Dec 15, 2010 @ 23:57:14

    I started enjoying gothic books a while ago and I’m interested in this one. I’ve heard so much about it and now you’ve just reminded me about it again. I really need to start reading Kate Morton.


  9. iliana
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 01:04:56

    Definitely want to read this one! I just read her book The House at Riverton and loved it and given that that one was a first book I can only imagine that the next books will be getting better. I hope so anyway! Great review!


  10. Kathleen
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 17:39:24

    I just purchased The House at Riverton. This sounds like an author who I will be reading more of!


  11. Sly Halsningar
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 01:59:06

    Haven’t read this one but I love Morton’s ‘The Forgotten Garden’. Nell’s character keep coming to my mind even after several months.

    (sorry, my english is not good enough. I read in English for 20 years but can’t write @ speak well. I’m from Malaysia) (“,)


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