The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

A bookish observation

I’ve just finished listening to a story that gave me hours and hours of pure bliss. Kate Morton’s “The Distant Hours” is marvelous. It’s complete. The author, Kate Morton, gives us wonderful descriptions of the characters and their lives, taking us back to the south of England during World War Two. The story moves you along at a pace that worked well for me, the plot continually gave you just a little bit more, and then just a little bit more. Knowing it’s the journey, not the destination, is assisted by listening instead of reading to the story. I’m sure if I’d read it myself I would have missed a lot of the beautiful prose by rushing along wanting to know what happened next. The audio version makes you wait and allows you to hear every word.

The story is like a good movie, so visual in its impact that I feel I’ve just come out of the cinema into the streaming sunshine and bustle of the city. Have you ever experienced that feeling when a really good movie is over, you feel satisfied but yet a little lost. I have a little of that feeling now, as Kate’s imagined world is already fading into my memory.

When listening to a book being read to you, the reader can make or break a story. This book was read by Caroline Lee and she is perfect. Caroline also reads many other books listed at, I’ll be taking a closer look at the books she reads so I can add them to my very long “wish list”.

At the publisher describes the story as follows:

“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….”

This blog was written by Diane Challenor 2011

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