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
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.
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
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.
To read, to dream, to love, to experience, to aspire...
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.
Not sure, maybe. Everyone has the right to another chance.
A novella would have been better suited for the subject matter, less painful.
I think the title of this book gives you a preview of the way you will feel when reading it. That is, "The distant hours from now that I will finally finish this very long story that is sure taking a long time to develop...those hours just seem so far away right now (because they are!)"
I really enjoyed the Forgotten Garden, so I was excited about The Distant Hours. However, I was left feeling "meh" about the story. Some of the characters appear to be Sociopaths (anyone that has read or listened to "The Sociopath Next Door" would likely agree) but then their actions are not consistent with what appears to be their agenda.
The book was very depressing for me. Dark. Sad. Just a lot of melancholy and sadness. The bright spots were so few. I think before I read/listen to another Kate Morton, I will read the reviews.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
"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
"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.
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?
"Plodding story, but a relaxing listen."
Yes if they wanted a relaxing story that moved at a pedantic pace.
I didn't get to the end of the book. But may possibly revisit at a later stage.
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
"passes the time, but a bit disappointing"
I really enjoyed Kate Morton's The Shifting Fog/House at Riverton but was a bit disappointed by this. I found it hard to care about the main character, but once it gets going it does carry you along. However, the whole 'mystery' seemed a bit contrived and over-complicated. It is also so drawn out that you have guessed the truth long before you actually get there. It is obviously in the gothic tradition, which I like, but felt like it tried a bit too hard and might have been better had it been simplified. There was a satisfying spooky shiver at the point that I thought was the end, spoilt by an implausible and slightly cheesy postscript.
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