©Kate Morton 2009
About the Book
From the international bestselling author of The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden comes a brand new tale of love, mystery, betrayal and dark secrets . . .
Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives 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 Millderhurst Castle with the Blythe family.
Fifty years later, Edie too is drawn to Milderhurst 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 . . .
Here I am again; taken aback and in awe of words on a page-sounds almost romantic. I really love the feeling of snapping a book closed after a turbulent couple of weeks of rigorous reading.
I love the first lines of Great novels: Jane Eyre, Rebecca, Wuthering Heights and A Tale of Two Cities. Here is another one to add to the ranks.
“For it is said, you know, that a letter will always seek a reader; that sooner or later, like it or not, words have a way of finding the light, of making their secrets known.”
We tell children fantasies to spark imagination and to watch their faces light up, Kate Morton does this for book lovers; a modern day Enid Blyton. A castle filled with ghosts of the past and surrounded in mists of myth and fantasy that you, the reader, are found gasping for breath after each chapter. Family sagas are always tumultuous but, Morton truly gives you value for money, pages read and makes up for the rather tepid looking cover – but they say never judge a book by its cover; true to the saying.
I can attempt to explain this complicated novel; the extent to which sisters will go to protect each other, gripping guilt, family tragedy, betrayal & burning war time love.
Edie and her mother have never been close but one Sunday a long-lost letter arrives that sends Edie’s mother into tears. The letter is from the mysterious Juniper Blythe from Milderhurst Castle. Intrigued, Edie sets off to find out why this particular letter that drives her rigid, unemotional mother to sobs. So begins the unravelling of the Sisters Blythe (Twins Percy & Saffy and the youngest Juniper), their Father Raymond Blythe (author of the Bestselling classic The Mud Man) and the Castle. When Edie learns that her mother was an evacuee during the War and taken to Milderhurst castle to live, she starts to chase the riddle of her mother’s life, the Castle and the illustrious Sisters Blythe. The Sisters Blythe, old now, are harbouring a secret almost fifty years old; one night during a storm something happens that sends Juniper into madness. Edie is about to find out more than she hoped; the truth of what really happened in the Distant Hours...
For all the lovers of Atonement by Ian McEwan will love, gobble up, and immerse themselves in this novel. Coincidental circumstances make this novel truly wonderful with its intricate plot and carefully constructed characters.
About the Author:
Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland, Australia. She has degrees in Dramatic Art and English Literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and two young sons in Brisbane.
Watch Kate Morton talking about The Distant Hours, here
Visit Kate Morton's website, here
- Review by Kelly Ansara