Customer Reviews


452 Reviews
5 star:
 (196)
4 star:
 (84)
3 star:
 (74)
2 star:
 (51)
1 star:
 (47)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


127 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the right ingredients for a wonderfully dark, Gothic tale
I've been blissfully absorbed in this haunting, Gothic tale for the past four days. The dual timeframe/buried secrets style is a bit of cliché now, but when it's done well (like this), I'm hooked.

The story follows publisher Edie Burchill's quest to find out exactly what happened when her mother Meredith was evacuated to Milderhurst Castle during WW2...
Published on 24 Oct 2010 by Denise4891

versus
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Try again Kate
Too repetitive, too long, too much build-up and altogether too much of everything.

I kept thinking 'hurry up and get to the point'. Yes, we know it's raining, or autumn or whatever. Too much descriptive text that it overwhelms you and detracts from the story.

I read this one on Kindle and didn't even have the satisfaction of throwing the book at...
Published on 6 Feb 2011 by Maid Marian


‹ Previous | 1 246 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Try again Kate, 6 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Hardcover)
Too repetitive, too long, too much build-up and altogether too much of everything.

I kept thinking 'hurry up and get to the point'. Yes, we know it's raining, or autumn or whatever. Too much descriptive text that it overwhelms you and detracts from the story.

I read this one on Kindle and didn't even have the satisfaction of throwing the book at the cat. (Sorry, wouldn't really do that).

Having said all that, as I enjoyed her first two books so much, if she writes another - I will definitely still try it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


141 of 151 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly diverting, but WAY too long...., 15 Nov 2010
By 
L. Bretherton "dempie" (Tiverton, Devon) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Kindle Edition)
What on earth went wrong with this book? Was there no editor involved? It is at least 100 pages too long, there is endless overlapping of plot and descriptions of rain and thunderstorms. Chapter after chapter underlining the terrible fate of the lost love of Juniper, and then this huge build-up towards the final revelation of what actually happened... and.... it all seems a bit of a damp squib. After all sorts of dark references to the Father and his power over the 3 sisters, any suspense just fizzles away into the muddy moat.

Yes, there is some lovely descriptive language along the way, but SO much repetition, and so many allusions to other classics - Great Expectations, Rebecca, I Capture the Castle, and of course, the author's own first two books.

In the end, after days of struggling to reach the end of this heavyweight tome, I felt like throwing it across the room. So many words for such a small outcome.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


68 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just ... get ... on ... with ... it .......... zzzzz, 21 Jun 2011
By 
Bookwoman - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Paperback)
It was a dark and stormy night in the mysterious castle as a terrible crime was committed - an author bored her readers to death with over 600 pages of tedious prose ...
Three elderly sisters wander about in the dark (along with the plot), muttering about the awful events of the past but never quite revealing what they actually were. The rain keeps falling, some people are bad, sad or mad (and possibly all three), and everyone's terribly worried. Thunder crashes, and - wait for it - lives are ruined forever. But whatever happens, they must NEVER discuss it amongst themselves. This doesn't stop them boring us poor readers with it, however. Page after page of internal monologue and unconvincing descriptions of England during the war are occasionally interrupted by scenes set in an equally unrealistic present, in which a dull girl tries to solve the mystery of what inspired an unpleasant sounding but apparently famous book.
Hands up all those who guessed at all the so-called dark secrets long before they were eventually revealed? And by then, did anyone actually care?
This book is crying out for an editor with a hatchet. That is, if a story so drowning in cliches could ever be saved.
Whatever Kate Morton was trying to achieve, and at times you can almost see what it was, I'm afraid it hasn't come off. She has obviously been heavily influenced by classics like Jane Eyre, I Capture the Castle, Great Expectations, and Rebecca: maybe she should read them again, this time paying more attention to how it should be done. And while she's at it, she could try reading Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger, too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where was the editor??, 15 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Hardcover)
Having really enjoyed The House at Riverton and quite enjoying The Forgotten Garden I was so disappointed with The Distant Hours. Running at least two hundred pages too long, this book was flabby, laboured and self indulgent. At times it was like wading through treacle with the purple prose that seemed to take up two thirds of the book. As for the story, it just all felt too familiar and meandered along quite predictably. I do love a good family saga set in a crumbling country pile but the author needs to bring some kind of freshness and originality to this well worn genre.

Everything was just so overwrought, I quite liked some of the characters, but didn't care enough about any of them to really care what happened to any of them. Except maybe Saffy, I quite liked Saffy.

I was expecting to tear through this book but in the end it took me about 6 weeks, periods of which involved putting this book down and reading several others. I really hope that is just a road bump in Kate Morton's career. Here's hoping that she returns to form with her next offering.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


127 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the right ingredients for a wonderfully dark, Gothic tale, 24 Oct 2010
By 
Denise4891 (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Hardcover)
I've been blissfully absorbed in this haunting, Gothic tale for the past four days. The dual timeframe/buried secrets style is a bit of cliché now, but when it's done well (like this), I'm hooked.

The story follows publisher Edie Burchill's quest to find out exactly what happened when her mother Meredith was evacuated to Milderhurst Castle during WW2. By co-incidence (or is it?), Edie's favourite childhood book, the dark, mystical True History of the Mud Man, was written by the owner of Milderhurst, Raymond Blythe, and Edie's journey brings her into contact with Raymond's daughters; twins Persephone and Seraphina and their younger sister Juniper.

The twins - dour, practical Percy and meek, kind-hearted Saffy - are wonderfully eccentric in both the wartime and contemporary (1992) threads. The ethereal, damaged Juniper doesn't make much of an impression until about halfway through the book when her tragic story is revealed. Along the way Edie unravels tales of lost love, frustrated amibition, madness and murder. The pace really builds up in the second half of the book, leading to a stormy, rain-soaked denouement in which all the loose ends are tied up very neatly.

This wonderfully atmospheric story has all the right Gothic ingredients for me - books, twins, lost letters, family secrets/betrayal and a dilapidated country house with secret passageways and batty relatives in the attic. I've loved all three of Kate Morton's books now, can't wait to see what she comes up with next. I'd recommend this one to fans of The Thirteenth Tale as I think it fills the gap very nicely while we wait (and wait) for Diane Setterfield's next book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two days of my life that I will never get back., 4 Dec 2011
By 
C. Castle (Huddersfield, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Paperback)
I was really excited when I picked this up. The blurb was interesting and the thickness of the book promised a really satisfyingly good read. Oh dear.

Firstly, by the end of page one I knew why the book was so long. Ms Morton uses twelve words to say what most people would say in six. Far too much description, flowery prose and adjectives. I found I skim read nearly the entire book - except the end which I didn't even read - more on that in a minute.

The twins at the centre of the novel and their poor mad sister are not attractive characters. I don't mind characters that are flawed but you just can't bring yourself to care about this trio. Percy is vile and Saffy is a wimp.

The key twists in the plot I had guessed by a quarter of a way through. There was a slight twist that I didn't see coming but it was delivered in such a flat manner that I gained no enjoyment from it.

At that point I gave up. The book should have stopped around there anyway, but I figured as I had learnt the great 'mystery' there was little point in torturing myself anymore.

I agree with the other reviewers - what was the editor thinking? Nice setting, good premise but awful characterisation, unfulfilling plot and meandering amateurish writing. Sorry Ms Morton - but this goes in the Send Direct To Charity Shop pile.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Distant Hours.........Why so long, 26 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Hardcover)
I adored Kate Morton's previous two books. As a "commuter" and late night reader they were ideal for this purpose, beautifully written novels in which you can become completely immersed in but not too hard going. When I bought The Distant Hours at the start I was thrilled at its size, nearly double her other two book so even more amazing writing to enjoy. However this was not the case, I find it difficult because in parts of this book I was completely enthralled, in other parts it was a chore to read and I found myself skimming through the pages. Parts of the book such as when the twin sisters were preparing for their sister plus guest for dinner just dragged and dragged. I am amazed Kate Morton's editor allowed some of these monotonous sections through. Yet parts had the same Kate Morton genius that brought me to buy this book in the first place. A very difficult book to review.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Desperately disappointing, 25 Mar 2011
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Hardcover)
I can only add my comments to others who have read all this author's previous novels and found this latest book desperately disappointing. I was so looking forward to her latest offering but thought this was tedious with overly long descriptive passages which did not move the story along.I found it difficult to have any empathy with the characters and was totally disinterested in the outcome.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment, 10 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Hardcover)
I asked for this book for Christmas as I had so enjoyed The House at Riverton and the Forgotten Garden. I was really looking forward to starting it but ended up very disappointed. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe it was a slow starter but it never picked up. It seemed to take ages to get to any kind of point and when the secrets were finally disclosed, I found I had already guessed them anyway! It's ridiculously and unnecessarily long and the characters were unlikeable (with possibly the exception of Thomas) and I honestly didn't care what happened. I only gave this 2 stars rather than 1 as I did manage to finish it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too many gardens and gates!, 20 Dec 2010
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Hardcover)
Whilst I did finish 'The Distant Hours' I agree with other readers, it was far too long and quite disappointing at the end. Not as good as Kate Morton's previous books. Does anyone else feel that there are too many books of similar genre being published? How many covers of books are illustrations of gates leading into gardens - too many!.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 246 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Distant Hours
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton (MP3 CD - Dec 2012)
Used & New from: £19.03
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews