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.
Morton once again enthralls readers with an atmospheric story featuring unforgettable characters beset by love and circumstance and haunted by memory, that reminds us of the rich power of storytelling
This is the first book I have read by Kate Morton, but I will definitely be reading more! This book was wonderful. The writing was absolutely beautiful and the plot was enthralling, full of suspense and layers of stories.
The Distant Hours switches back and forth between two time periods, the near past, the 1990s, and WWII, the late 1930s into the early 1940s. This expanse of time allows for the layers of the plot to slowly stack up and the secrets build, waiting for the final denouement. I loved the intricacies of the characters and their relationships to one another, especially the Sisters Blythe. This book explores how both war time and your family's history can impinge on one's life and how you can respond to it- many of the characters allowed the circumstances around them to dictate how their lives would go. Edie, though, the only characters from the newer generation, tended to make her own destiny more than her mother and the sisters. However, Edie also did not grow up in a time of world war or in a severely confining family.
My favorite part of The Distant Hours was definitely the ending. We learned the secrets of the past and watched the tragedies of the sisters unfold to their last moment. I'm trying to be especially vague because I don't want to give away of the major plot points. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has the time to sit and enjoy this book. The story and the writing are both beautiful and should be enjoyed.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars