The Distant Hours

The Distant Hours

A Novel

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A long-lost letter arriving at its destination fifty years after it was sent lures Edie Burchill to crumbling Milderhurst Castle, home of the three elderly Blythe sisters, where Edie's mother was sent to stay as a teenager during World War II.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2010
Edition: 1st Atria Books hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439152782
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 562 pages ;,24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Oct 02, 2018

Downtowner's Book Selection
Kate Morton is a wizard with a pen who has been gifted with a literary mind.
'Distant Hours ' is graciously presented and welcomed by the masses.

Jul 05, 2018

Borrowed but returned before read -- July 2018

Jun 13, 2018

This is an epic tale that has a castle as a major character and juxtaposes a 1993 timeline against WW II. Edie Burchill witnesses her mother's distress when opening a long lost letter and so begins her quest to find out more about Middlehurst Castle and the secrets that lie with the Blythe sisters. As with other books by Morton, we see many seemingly unrelated strands come together at the end of the book in unexpected ways and surprising ways. The Epilogue is especially rewarding and reminded me of how much I enjoy Morton's storytelling. I also loved listening to Caroline Lee narrate. She is one of my favorite readers for books from Australian and British authors. Recommended!

Apr 04, 2018

I could not put this book down. So far one of her best ever. Read it!

ArapahoeJillK Nov 27, 2017

My favorite Kate Morton book thus far. Once again, interesting female characters from the present and the past merge to tell the tale of a Gothic mystery set in a crumbling English castle.

Oct 26, 2017

Loved the book. Great read.

Mar 12, 2017

Compelling! !

Oct 17, 2016

This is a great novel and mystery, focusing on mother- daughter and sister- sister relationships. I really enjoyed it, didn't want to stop reading it! I think the part that I liked the best was that the narrator becomes much closer with her mother as she learns the secrets of Milderhurst Castle. The Blythe family seemed a bit unreal to me, although they did make for an interesting plot. I was confused at the very end when Percy's side of the story is told... her perspective is that she has protected her sisters for their whole lives- that she has torn up job offers and letters to prevent her twin from leaving the castle because her twin couldn't handle the outside world, and that her younger sister also needs protecting from the world. This could be true, but since it is the first time this perspective (about Saffy) has been introduced, it leads me to wonder if this is just Percy's way of justifying her life. The backstory of the Mud Man was interesting, and terrifying. I was a bit annoyed at the description of Juniper's decent into madness "the lights went out". There has to be a more precise description of her mental illness than that- people don't just exactly blow their circuits. I know this is a novel, but I feel like the sisters should have tried to get some outside help. My final criticism is that this is the 3rd Kate Morton novel I have read, and I wish that the perpetrator in all her novels were acting under the influence of a mental illness. At least this time it wasn't "shell shock" like in the other two novels I've read. I enjoyed this a lot, but I feel like her novels are a bit formulaic and it will be a little while before I read another.

May 24, 2016

very good book

Mar 09, 2016

This is my 4th Kate Morton novel, and I feel it behooves me to make a comment. I first picked up one of her novels as a result of a comment noted in the recently reviewed section. I have been reading voraciously for the last 50+ years and I'm fussy about what I spend my time on. Her books are exciting, splendidly written, and fraught with historical drama, as well as present day mysteries. They tend to be a little slow at first, then pick up such a momentum that I am so enthralled I practically forget to go to the restroom!!

View All Comments


Add a Summary
Feb 03, 2011

Heroine's mother was evacuated from London to countryside in WWII. Daughter didnt find out about this until a lost letter arrives in 90's and mother is very upset about it. Daughter tours castle where mother stayed for short time. All 3 sisters still living, twins are oldest and younger daughter may have dementia or mental instability. Their father was author of a loved children's book, probably a YA book, as it was rather a horror story. Mud Man was the scary character, which figures into the plot.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at my library

To Top