Book: The Distant Hours
Author: Kate Morton
576 pages (Hardcover)
Edie has never had a close relationship with her mother, Meredith, but she does have a love of books that helped her through her youth. When Edie is on assignment for her job, she detours to Milderhurst where Raymond Blythe, the author of her favorite book lived. There she visits his castle and meets Raymond Blythe’s daughters who are all strange and unique in their own way. Little does she know that her visit will begin to unfold a mystery that involved her mother’s relocation to Milderhurst during WWII.
A few years ago I read Kate Morton’s previous book, The Forgotten Garden and really enjoyed the mystery she wove in it. When I found out that Morton was coming out with a new book I was more than excited to read it. It’s one of the few books that I knew I had to have as soon as it came out. I was not disappointed. The Distant Hours has the same mysterious build to a historical fiction story, but is told just as beautifully as The Forgotten Garden was.
The Distant Hours is not a typical mystery or thriller. There isn’t a psychopathic killer or kidnapper running around town. It involves family secrets that affect numerous people throughout the years. The story is about Raymond Blythe’s famous work, The True History of the Mud Man and the mystery surrounding it. The Blythe family has a mysterious history including a house fire that killed Raymond Blythe’s wife and a daughter that wanders around aimlessly and appears emotionally disturbed. Edie decides to visit the castle and is later commissioned to write the introduction to a new edition of The True History of the Mud Man. While visiting the castle to interview the two sisters that are well, she finds the family dynamic interesting and discovers so many things about the family.
The thing I really enjoy about Kate Morton’s writing is that there is something very calming and introspective about her mysteries. There is always some sense of self-discovery for the characters that make them reflect on who they are. The Distant Hours is no exception. Edie learns a lot about herself and her family through her work with the Blythe family. The writing is excellent and Morton knows how to delve into both her characters and her plots.
I definitely recommend this for anyone who enjoys literary mysteries. Kate Morton is now one of my favorite writers and I will gobble up everything she writes!
*Notice of Disclosure: I received The Distant Hours for review from Atria Books.
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