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The Distant Hours | [Kate Morton]

The Distant Hours

Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives one Sunday afternoon 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives one Sunday afternoon 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 12-year-old girl, Edie’s mother is chosen by the mysterious Juniper Blythe and taken to live at Milderhurst Castle with the Blythe family: Juniper, her twin sisters, and their father, Raymond.

Fifty years later, as Edie chases the answers to her mother’s riddle. She, too, is drawn to Milderhurst Castle 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. For the truth of what happened in the distant hours has been waiting a long time for someone to find it....

©2010 Kate Morton (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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  •  
    L.W. 05-07-13
    L.W. 05-07-13

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    513
    ratings
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    225
    222
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    Story
    "Kate Morton is a premium writer...."

    I never miss a KM book. She is such a weaver of tales. I love her books because they are like a vine it just weaves around you, it's threads unfold more information with a direction to the next unfolding. Her books are not necessarily a one time listen all the way thru. She writes in a way that encourages you to savoir the writing. This story was no different. It took me awhile to get to the end...but that is wonderful. As other reviewers have stated you need to be in the right place to really listen to the story. Caroline Lee is an absolute pleasure to listen to at any time.
    I don't want to give anything away but my one critic is the last few chapters. That seemed rushed and not plausible to me....However, I am a true fan of Kate Morton's writing. Each of her books is a treasure to me.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia D. 01-26-11
    Patricia D. 01-26-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    4
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    Overall
    "Superb listening"

    Kate Morton has an amazing way with characters and time movement - this is a most wonderful book that challenges the senses and invokes imagination by the reader to come up with an answer - before it comes to us. Wonderful and exciting. Wish she would write many more

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Will Columbia, SC, United States 02-07-11
    Will Columbia, SC, United States 02-07-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Like the sweater your aunt knits for you..."

    My wife picked this book, so you might say that I was pre-disposed to not love it. However, her opinion of it was even lower than mine. It's obvious from the LONG list of acknowledgments following the story that this was a labor of love and that the author genuinely believed it was a masterpiece. However, it was not.

    The basic story had twists and turns and was not by any means terrible, but the dialogue, especially the descriptive dialog, was painful. Caroline Lee did a decent job plodding through, but did not add any real value. There are worse books out there, but there a many that are better.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-27-10
    12-27-10 Listener Since 2010
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    "tiresome "who dun it"

    the narrating is goed, but the story seems to go on and on as if the author has no idea where to end. The changes in time are very confusing and the descriptions of characters and their actions are exhausting. The plot is good although at times a bit hard to believe. A good "who dun it"if you have the patience to read through so much trivia.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LaLectora Germany 11-08-12
    LaLectora Germany 11-08-12

    Mash-m

    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
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    "A short story line inflated with a word pump. Yawn"
    What disappointed you about The Distant Hours?

    Way too long for a fairly simple story line. It flowed liken like molasses someone put in the fridge. While is true Ms. Norton can paint a scene with her words, it was boring nevertheless. I skipped through 15 hours or so. It wasn't a Secret Garden, too much filler, and a so, so mystery, yawn.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Kate Morton again?

    Not sure, maybe. Everyone has the right to another chance.


    What character would you cut from The Distant Hours?

    Most.


    Any additional comments?

    A novella would have been better suited for the subject matter, less painful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mhurban 09-08-11
    mhurban 09-08-11 Member Since 2015
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    "So sad yet so beautiful."

    It took a bit to get into this book, but it's definitely worth hanging in there. I loved the voice of the narrator! A really wonderful book!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MissSusie66 09-02-11
    MissSusie66 09-02-11 Member Since 2010

    MissSusie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great combination of story & narrator!"

    This book had the great twists and turns and family secrets that Kate Morton has become known for I didn’t want to stop reading/listening to this one and was sad when I had to stop! I just want to gush like a fangirl about Kate Morton I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy all her books. I also can’t say enough about the audio versions Caroline Lee’s narration is so good and I highly recommend all Kate Morton’s books in audiobook format.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerrie Kirrawee, Australia 07-31-11
    Kerrie Kirrawee, Australia 07-31-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it."

    After listening to Kate Morton's first two books, I could not wait to hear the new one. It did not disappoint me. As usual Kate weaves the present and the past into a story that grabs you from the beginning. Caroline Lee's reading is entertaining, her acting ability is a great advantage in bringing the characters to life. I would highly recommend this audi book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Concerned Reader Stamford, CT, USA 02-09-11
    Concerned Reader Stamford, CT, USA 02-09-11 Member Since 2003

    Michael

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a bit too long"

    Where???s a good editor when you need her? This book is 20th century gothic with a bow to Wuthering Heights, etc. Dickens would understand the economics since his serialized novels were lengthy out of financial necessity. The very complicated plot moves along at a snail???s pace but it managed to come to a complete conclusion tying up all loose ends. There are many dark corners in the story. It???s well written and the narrator captures all the mainly female characters quite well. Still, this cannot make up for the absent editor. If you are patient and like a very slow listen, this will be a rewarding book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pj 11-14-10
    pj 11-14-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect Narration"

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The narrator performed superbly! Highly recommended.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
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  • Sarah
    CHRISTCHURCH, Dorset, United Kingdom
    2/1/11
    Overall
    "australian!"

    I've just come to the end of this book ... it's a great tale but completely spoilt for me by the australian accents. The 'East End of London' australian accent of the war years didn't 'do it' for me I'm afraid. The yarn is quite a good one but - and I'm sorry there is a 'but' - it's rather drawn out and predictable at the end ... I ended up guessing (correctly) what was going to happen next. However, I always buy nice long books to see me through the night and this was a good, long tale, with twists and turns. A bit lightweight as it turns out but good to pass the time of night ...

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    Stanhoe, King's Lynn, Norfolk, United Kingdom
    1/25/11
    Overall
    "Down to you"

    The Distant Hours in very much in the style of the gothic novel and the extent to which you enjoy it is down to you.
    As a sporadic gothic reader,this was a good yarn that kept me engaged (although I must admit I occasionally dropped off and then spent ages looking for the last bit I recognised though not while I was in the car I might add.
    If you're looking for great literature, apt to nitpick about writing style and historical accuracy this is not for you. There's nothing glaring and nothing that stops this being a well crafted engaging story throughout.
    On reading other reviews,I was struck by how polarised they were.
    When I was tired from work and had a long car journey ahead of me at the weekend, this was great entertainment. Enjoy

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Annette Morris
    1/24/11
    Overall
    "Captivating ...Do not miss"

    Moreton creates the most endearing characters and I felt every nuance of emotion as I listened to this wonderful tale. The intrigue was fabulous and I was as excited as the lead character Edie Burchill as the mysteries unfolded. I could truly see the castle in my minds eye & my heart was pounding as ?I? walked the castle corridors along with Edie & the Sisters Blithe. There are so many different strands to this narrative; each character having a specific tale to tell, each story intertwines, impacting on each other. The twists and turns keep you hooked until the very last page. I took long walks, looked for excuses to go out in the car, unnecessary housework and even went to the gym just to allow me to keep listening ! Narration excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Heather
    Romsley Halesowen, United Kingdom
    10/31/11
    Overall
    "Enjoyable"

    This book is not quite as good as the first 2 (House at Riverton & Forgotten Garden) But enjoyable non the less.. My one gripe is that The narrator is an Australian doing a rather poor English accent. If its an english Story, why not get an English person to narrate?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel
    Sutton Coldfield , West Midlands , United Kingdom
    2/11/11
    Overall
    "Another great book from Kate Morton"

    Once again Kate Morton has written a book that keeps you wondering what's going to happen until the very end. The narration was easy to listen to (and I got loads of cleaning done while listening; it didn't seem like work at all!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Purple Sunflower
    Manchester, England
    10/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Plodding story, but a relaxing listen."
    Would you try another book written by Kate Morton or narrated by Caroline Lee?

    Maybe not.


    Would you recommend The Distant Hours to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes if they wanted a relaxing story that moved at a pedantic pace.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Caroline Lee?

    Not sure.


    Do you think The Distant Hours needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I didn't get to the end of the book. But may possibly revisit at a later stage.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • aprintis
    UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "A great listen"

    The Distant Hours is an intriguing listen, beautifully read by Caroline Lee. Her voice suits the narrator role and makes the storytelling all the more believable. The story, itself, builds gradually and holds your attention as it unfolds over differing timeframes and dimensions. All of the characters add something to the tale and you are drawn into each part of the story, almost forgetting where you were before until that character's narrative is picked up again. Overall, a very engaging listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia A. Thompson
    UK
    5/16/12
    Overall
    "Lost Hours"

    I was completely engrossed listening to this book, hence the title of the review. I got lost in this story for hours on end. I found all the characters completely believable, some not particularly likeable, but each one drew me in to the story. There was a shade of the Miss Haversham's with unrequited love and I've always loved Great Expectations, so that's perhaps why this drew me in so well. A mystery, a ghost story and one that kept me listening and eager to know more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joan
    Co Wicklow, Ireland
    4/17/12
    Overall
    "The narrator's accent really grates"

    The story is wonderful, but heavens above, the telling of this tale is really marred by the choice of an Australian to narrate a very British story.
    I would give the book a 4 or even a 5 - but the narrator's accent really grated on my nerves and I was conscious of it the whole time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deborah
    Stafford, United Kingdom
    1/13/12
    Overall
    "Compelling"

    The author never fails, this is an easy listen. I was initially unsure re the readers accent and didn't know if it suited the story but was soon dying to go to bed to listen further.I loved it but preferred the authors other other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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