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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    1,743
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  • 3 Stars
    483
  • 2 Stars
    113
  • 1 Stars
    66

Performance

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    167
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    35
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    23

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Fletch
  • South Carolina
  • 02-07-11

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 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • pj
  • 11-14-10

Perfect Narration

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

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved this book.

I have read other Kate Morton books and have never been disappointed. Kate keeps her readers truly engaged in the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narration!!

Great story telling! It lagged on in places that I think if you were to read it you could skip through without losing any of the story. But loved the story overall would highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great author, story and narrator.

Another captivating story and narration. Morton and Lee are a stellar combination to enjoy every time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Starts slow but so worth the journey!

The last 7 or so hours are riveting. It took me a while to love it, but once I did I couldn't stop listening. I'm so glad I stuck it out!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed feelings.

Would you try another book from Kate Morton and/or Caroline Lee?

The author is a good writer. The issue I had with this audiobook was not that the story wasn't engaging in its premise because I think it held promise. It was just that it didn't deliver enough for all of the lengthy engagement between the characters that the author put me through. The big reveals were just not that interesting given the amount of time I had invested in listening to the back story.

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

Probably not. I didn't deliver enough given the time it took for the listen.

Was The Distant Hours worth the listening time?

No. I hate to say that but for all of the hours invested it was a bit of a miss for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another amazing Kate Morton book

I adore Kate Morton, and this book was no exception. I adored the ending, despite the fact that it was absolutely tragic and ruined me for a few days. A cast of multi dimensional, yet still lovable characters. Definitely something I will revisit at a later date.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful