Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

I received a review copy of this novel from Simon & Schuster. This in no way affected my opinions.

I read the last hundred page of The Distant Hours in the middle of a pretty intense storm. This just brought me even deeper into the story, where I felt as though I was a part of it. People who have finished The Distant Hours will know what I'm talking about.

I'm such a huge Kate Morton fan. I raved over her two previous books: The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden, so when I heard about The Distant Hours a year ago, I could not wait for it. I had such high expectations, and I figured, for once, I wouldn't be let down by them.

I was right. Oh, was I right. The Distant Hours was such a lush, dark, beautiful, sad, novel. I felt myself lost in it every time I picked it up. The mystery and the scenery. I was so caught up.

The story starts when a lost 50 year old letter arrives in the post. Edie watches her mother's reaction as she reads the letter and Edie immediately becomes curious. The curiosity leads her to Milderhurst Castle, home to the sisters Blythe and home to Edie's mother during the London Blitz. Edie finds twin sisters Percy and Saffy and their younger sister Juniper, who hasn't been quite the same since her fiancée abandoned her 50 years ago.

Edie finds there is much to their story. Much more. Nothing is as it seems, of course. Stories and legends that have been around for decades prove to be untrue. Just when you think you've got something figured out, you are not even close.

That happened to me. Many times. I wasn't right about a darn thing. Nothing was as it seemed. And even at the end, we find out that Edie's conclusion - what she believed was the truth - wasn't correct. However, it didn't matter. No matter how you looked at it, the ending was sad.

The Distant Hours was more character driven than plot driven, so therefore it's not for readers who like fast moving plots. The story weaves in and out of 1941 and 1992, switching back and forth seamlessly.

I took my time with this one, despite my desire to find out what happens, because I wanted it to last as long as possible. Like her previous novels, Morton has written another story that has permanently attached itself to my imagination. Its ending never leaving me. All the sad 'what ifs'.


Joanne said...

Wonderful review! I love stories where the past and present are tied together...looks like another one to add to the TBR pile!

Jenny said...

The plot of this sounds so similar to me as her last one but I've heard wonderful things about both! I have a copy of this too that I do hope to get to soon. Great review!

Marg said...

I have enjoyed the other books I have read from Morton so I am really looking forward to this one.

Tudor Daughter said...

Christy~Oh I cannot wait to read this. I loved House at Riverton and enjoyed The Forgotten Garden. This was a beautiful review and you have a lovely blog!

Julie said...

I love this novel so far, but it keeps getting interrupted by scheduled review books. Yet .. when I pick it up again for a while, it's like meeting an old friend ... in that sense, I'm glad that I can't read it all in one hop .. this is one of my favorite reads so far this year. Thanks for the review!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries