07 July 2013

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton, Book review

Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (July 12, 2011)
ISBN-13: 978-1439152799


The #1 internationally bestselling author of The Forgotten Garden mesmerizes readers with this haunting tale of long-buried secrets and the twists of fate that can alter lives forever.
 It starts with a letter, lost for half a century and unexpectedly delivered to Edie’s mother on a Sunday afternoon. The letter leads Edie to Milderhurst Castle, where the eccentric Blythe spinsters live and where, she discovers, her mother was billeted during World War II.
The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives caring for their younger sister, Juniper, who hasn’t been the same since her fiancĂ© jilted her in 1941. Inside the decaying castle, Edie searches for her mother’s past but soon learns there are other secrets hidden in its walls.

The truth of what happened in “the distant hours” has been waiting a long time for someone to find it. In this enthralling romantic thriller, Morton pays homage to the classics of gothic fiction, spinning a rich and intricate web of mystery, suspense, and lost love.

Here are my thoughts:

The final denouement of THE DISTANT HOURS has left me thinking this must be the most original writing piece I have had the pleasure to read in quite a while! You know you have discover an exceptional novel when there are so many twists and turns to the plot you hold your breath, leaving you with this feeling of awe at the scope of the author's imagination! 

There are countless adjectives one could apply to describe Kate  Morton's novel, from intriguing to momentous, a phenomenon in this day and age when so many novels feels spieled in a minimum of time but I will emphasise singular! This is one book you will be loath to put down!

Written with elements of an epistolary novel (the poly logic type which creates a dramatic tension throughout the plot), the novel alternates betwixt the late 1930's, the 1940's and the 1990's.  The plot line is to be experienced for its originality as nothing will prepare you for its final phase. 

THE DISTANT HOURS with its discerning cast of characters, each cleverly described, will remind of the saying: "All is fair in love and war'. 
We have a compelling Milderhurst Castle with its moat filled in, Percy, Saffy and Juniper, the three spinsters sisters in residence, their reclusive and eccentric father, Raymond Blythe, a writer with his best seller 'The True History Of The Mud Man' the pivot of the story.

Multi layered, this haunting story involves also a young evacuee and a missing person in wartime, and finally our narrator, the young editor/publisher who stumbles on her mother's mysterious past which seemed  strangely connected to Milderhurst' s deep secrets and its inhabitants... 

Spanning decades and fabulously rich in historical facts and suspense, this novel depicts the true extent of friendship, love, hate all carefully intertwined with loyalty and duty.

Australian author Kate Morton has definitively earned 5+ stars for this interesting novel and I am eagerly looking forward to read her three other novels (as well as whatever she can come up with!)

About the Author:

Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specializing in nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary gothic novels.

Kate Morton has sold over 7.5 million copies in 26 languages, across 38 countries. The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, and The Distant Hours have all been number one bestsellers around the world, and The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton's fourth novel, has just been published. 

Find out more on her website (HERE)

Note to Readers: This review was not requested and therefore represents ONLY my opinion!


  1. This is one of my favorite authors! I've read all of her books and would love to start reading them all over again. She writes stories that you never forget. I would give her books ALL the highest ratings, too! Sweet hugs!

    1. Ah! Well Diane, I can only say she proved to be so good I can't wait to read the other novels and I would be truly disappointed if they do not measure to this one (somehow I don't think so!).

  2. I like stories that deal with the past most of the time, sometimes they get a bit tangled and I get a bit lost in the details.

    1. Merle, it is those countless details I thrive upon...Plotlines these days are often the same all over! I love to do the research on fact based stories...A little like the special features of a movie, it fascinates me!


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