The Distant Hours Paperback – 11 May 2011
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'A cleverly crafted and beautifully descriptive novel.' --Choice
'Morton's writing has enough atmosphere, intrigue and, whisper it, intelligence for The Distant Hours to wheedle its way into the most cynical of hearts...The Distant Hours proves there will always be a readership for melodramatic tales of family intrigue - and Morton is adeptly carrying that tradition into the 21st century.' --Metro
'Morton (The Forgotten Garden) has quickly established herself as a master of modern gothic, producing complicated and completely satisfying historical mysteries. Her third novel solidifies her dominion... Featuring a fresh and thrilling gothic mystery, cinematic storytelling, and fully developed characters who possess layers of deliciously surprising secrets, this complex story is developed at a leisurely but compelling pace that keeps readers hooked. Recommended for a wide readership, including mystery lovers and historical fiction fans.' --Library Journal
'Kate Morton's clever and compelling new novel is yet more evidence of her place in both the bestseller charts and the hearts of her readers. In this atmospheric and evocative tale of a daughter's journey into her mother's past, a long-lost letter leads Edie Burchill to Milderhurst Castle in Kent and a forgotten world... An intriguing and beautifully observed story.' --Lancashire Evening Post
'Kate Morton's stunning new novel will not disappoint' --Best Magazine
'A page-turner of mystery and suspense.' --ASOS magazine
'In this, her third book, Morton writes in her usual engaging style, taking the reader to the heart of the Blythe family, so that from wartime evacuations through to the machinations of modern-day publishing, you live through every twist and turn.' --Waterstones Books Quarterly
'Enthralling romantic thriller... will stun readers' --Publishers Weekly
'Shades of I Capture the Castle haunt Kate Morton's The Distant Hours as protagonist Edie is drawn into the past.' --InStyle
'A bewitching tale of family secrets and betrayal' --Good Housekeeping
'An absorbing and haunting read' --Woman & Home
'A dilapidated castle, aristocratic twins, a troubled sister and a series of dark secrets cast a whispery spell in Morton's third book' --Marie Claire
'A fascinating family saga . . . I adored this book - and was - literally - unable to put it down. There were echoes of Daphne du Maurier, of Victorian novels, and of Ian McEwan's Atonement' --Irish Examiner
'A nuanced exploration of family secrets and betrayal, Morton's latest is captivating' --People magazine
'The Distant Hours is an ambitious book from popular Australian novelist Kate Morton... Milderhurst Castle is as enchanting to the reader as it is to Edie and her mother'
'At its centre is Edie Burchill, an editor at a small publishing house, who is surprised to discover that her mother was once familiar with the Blythes, a famous dynasty of writers and artists. Intrigued, Edie begins to investigate the connection, and is drawn into the mystery surrounding the family and its peculiarly dark history.' --Independent on Sunday
“[...] the novel’s 670 pages go by in a flash.” (The Guardian)
"[T]here's a rewarding, bittersweet payoff in the author's most gothic tale yet." (Kirkus Reviews)
“An enthralling romantic thriller … will stun readers.” (Publishers Weekly)
“An absorbing and haunting read.” (Woman & Home)
"Featuring a fresh and thrilling gothic mystery, cinematic storytelling, and fully developed characters who possess layers of deliciously surprising secrets, this complex story is developed at a leisurely but compelling pace that keeps readers hooked." (Library Journal) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
#1 - too long
#2 - too many words (not the same thing as #1)
#3 - undeveloped characters/stereotypical characters
#4 - sadly lacking in editorial help
#5 - really boring, a word I only allow myself to use in a review if I can say why...
I really think this has the feel of a first novel - the one from the writer's drawer that maybe should have stayed there. I say this because the previous two novels were so polished, so narrative-led and well-crafted. This seems to be a problem with modern publishing...some way down the line in an author's output either the editors stop thinking they need to edit or they believe it OK to drop an earlier piece of work on an unsuspecting readership who naively expect new books to be better books. So longest is not necessarily best.
For Kate Morton I do feel very sad to have written this review. But I really tried to get 'into' your book, Kate. I considered it might be a title to leave on the bookshelf for another time, maybe an autumnal read. But then I just lazily read the ending, some parts in the middle and felt the whole author-reader relationship just did not mature in this book.
This is a dual time narrative book, set in 1992 and 1941. Kate Morton has done an excellent job in weaving together the strands of the story, and not confusing the reader, despite the moves in time in the story in the past. I did flick back through the book on a few occasions, but that was because I was keen to understand the links between all the threads.
This book has a slightly menacing castle and three sisters at its core, with a modern day heroine/investigator to help the reader link the past and present together. It would be an excellent book group read as I think there is a lot to discuss with this book - I only wish I knew somebody else who had read it!
It lost a mark with me for the slowness, particularly early on, but I would have liked to have given it 4.5 stars on here as, by the end, I was absolutely loving it.
The story line was interesting, but the over complicated style detracted from it. There were too many time changes, too many points of view. Often the story got bogged down in over written description. Still I kept reading it!
When Edie seeks to understand her mother Meredit
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I must remind myself that in future I do not listen to/take notice of media hype...Read more
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