Monday, November 8, 2010

Review & Giveaway - The Distant Hours - Kate Morton

Kate Morton's latest book, The Distant Hours, releases tomorrow.

A letter, lost for 50 years, finally arrives at the home of Meredith Burchill. Her daughter Edie is there when she opens it. Her Mum's reactions startles her - "... horrid, guttural gasp, followed quickly by a series of rasping sobs". Yet her mother won't discuss the letter any further other than to stay it was from one of the Blythe sisters at Milderhurst Castle, where she lived as an evacuee during the blitzes of 1941war torn England. When a business trip for her publishing firm takes Edie within a few miles of the castle, she impulsively stops by the gates. And remembers being there as a child.

The three elderly Blythe sister are still in residence and welcome Edie. After all "The castle likes to be visited, it needs it."

Edie becomes fascinated with the moldering castle and it's residents - both past and present. What connection does her mother have to these women and the past? Although one of the Blythe sisters says " My family lives on in the stones of Milderhurst Castle and it's my duty to keep them. It's not a task for outsiders", they specifically ask for Edie when a new edition of their father's classic bestseller 'The Mud Man' is planned. Edie accepts the job and is inextricably drawn in.

The story alternates between Edie's world in 1992 and the past in 1941. Slowly and deliciously we are able to piece together the story of the castle and the tragedy that haunts the Blythe family. The past comes to light, but is told through many voices, each adding their slant and twist on the way to the truth of those distant hours.

Morton has written a richly atmospheric novel with a lovely, gothic feel that just makes you want to curl up late at night reading under a single lamp in the dark. The story builds slowly, with layer upon layer added as the tension builds over the course of 500 plus pages. Morton's descriptions add to the eeriness and the atmosphere.

"In a small cupboard at the very top of the house there lies a secret doorway. Behind the doorway is the entrance to an entire scheme of hidden passages. It's possible to crawl along them, room to room, attic to cellar, just like a little mouse. If one goes quietly enough, it's possible to hear all manner of secret things; to get lost inside if one isn't careful. They're the castle's veins."
I loved this description of the sky.
" Outside, the sky grumbled like a full stomach, the gluttonous belly of a gentleman who'd escaped the frugalities of a rationed pantry."
Morton is an excellent storyteller. Although there is no 'action' in the book, I was completely caught up in the story of the 'Sisters Blythe'. Tragedy, romance, mystery and secrets abound in The Distant Hours - a book to be savoured and enjoyed.

Read an excerpt of The Distant Hours.

And thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada, I have a brand spankin' new ARC to giveaway. Let's open up this giveaway and make it international! To be entered - have you read Kate Morton before? Please ensure I have a means to contact you - either through your blog or by email. Closes Wednesday, Dec 1 at 6 pm EST.

82 comments:

amandawk said...

I have not read any books by this author. This book sounds really good!
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Looking forward to this one as well. I do have a copy, but thanks for the giveaway.

Linda said...

Just recently I read The Forgotten Garden, an unusual, but very interesting mystery. Anxious now to read The Distant Hours. Thanks for the giveaway.
lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

stargazerpuj said...

I haven't read anything by Kate Morton before, but after your review, I definitely want to.
Would love to win a copy.
stargazerpuj at gmail dot com

debbie said...

I haven't read any of her books before, but this one sounds good. I would like to read it.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Kulsuma said...

I haven't read any of this author's work but the synopsis sounds great. I would love to read it.

k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

Linda Henderson said...

I haven't read anything by her, but this sounds very intriguing.

seriousreader at live dot com

Marjorie said...

The storyline sounds really great and I would like to read this book.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Tina said...

I've never read any of her work but the synopsis has peaked my interest. Thanks for the chance to win!
melodiousrevelry (at) gmail (dot) com

fredamans said...

I have not read Kate's books before, but there is no place like the present. Thank you for the entry.

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

Patsy said...

I haven't read anything by Kate Morton, but by the sound of this book, I will be reading her books soon. This book sounds really good.
mom1248(at)att(dot)net

Jonita said...

Have I heard amazing things about Kate Morton's books? Yes. Do I have "The Forgotten Garden" on my shelf waiting to be read? Yes. Have I read it yet? No, but I'm looking forward to it and would love to be entered into this giveaway. Thanks for hosting it!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

bermudaonion said...

I cannot wait to read this book - it sounds wonderful! No need to enter me.

Anonymous said...

I would love to read/listen to this!
Susan @ mahaffey@library.ucsb.edu

PoCoKat said...

Would love love love to win this book!

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Mystica said...

I've read the Forgotton Garden. thanks for opening this for all. Much appreciated.

Elizabeth said...

sounds like a great book!


elizabethjhoskins@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any books by her yet either. I like the part about the lost letter. My mother received one 20years to late. I would rally love to read this book, sounds good.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

holdenj said...

Would love to win The Distant Hours. I have the Forgotten Garden in the TBR pile, a friend just read it a couple months ago and said it was wonderful.
Thanks for the chance to win.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Pamela Keener said...

What an intriguing premise. Kate Morton is a new to me author.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pam said...

This looks really intriguing! I haven't read anything by her, yet, but someone just recommended The Forgotten Garden (I think that's the one; it's similar or a play on The Secret Garden?) so she's on my radar.

pam dot stennett at gmail dot com

Elaine said...

I haven't but I would like to!

www.clothedmuch.com

gcpeach17 said...

Please, enter me in this giveaway. I may have found another 'favorite author'. No, I haven't read Kate Morton but, from the sounds of this book, she's one I would very much enjoy.

gcpeach17 at aol dot com

Charleydog said...

Nice to see a Canadian author.

Please enter my name in the giveaway for the book. Thanks!

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

pippirose said...

I haven't read any novels by Kate Morton. The book sounds excellent!

pippirose59 at gmail dot com

nfmgirl said...

No, I have never read Kate Morton, but this storyline sounds intriguing. Please count me in. Thank you!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Kaye said...

I adore Kate Morton!!! The House at Riverton was so good and the Forgotten Garden blew me away. I could not put it down for anything.

Please enter me for her latest. Sounds wonderful.

florida982002[at]yahoo.com

Indigo said...

I haven't read Kate Morton before. This book sounds so intriguing, an invite to explore her writing. Thanks for the opportunity!

ravensquietscreams@gmail.com

Sarah said...

Thank you for the chance to win:)

foxchick0323@live.com

a real librarian said...

Oh, I haven't read anything by this author, but I'd love to! Thanks for the chance to win!!

areallibrarian[at]gmail[dot]com

Colleen Turner said...

I read the Forgotten Garden and LOVED IT!
candc320@gmail.com

Bcteagirl said...

I haver not read a book by this author before, but I love the premise of a long lost letter from the war era :) I will be keeping an eye open for this one :)
teagirl1 at telus dot net

Linda Kish said...

I have not read any of her books yet.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Susan said...

I have not read any books by this author. What caught my interest was the reference to WWII. I like books like this one.
susanbillietaylor [at] gmail [dot] com

Aik said...

I'd love to enter! I haven't read any book by this author, but I've heard much about her.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Wendy said...

I haven't read any of this author's work but would love to read this one!

wendyhines at hotmail dot com

GFC follower :)

shaneo52 said...

I haven't read her novels yet, but sure have wanted to.
shaneo52@yahoo.com

Marg said...

Thank you so much for making this an international giveaway! I have read all of Kate Morton's other books and have thoroughly enjoyed them, so I am really looking forward to this one.

ozdiamondlil at gmail dot com

Moridin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
barbjan10 said...

Kate Morton and her writings are new to me. This book is appealing to my reading appetite. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win Kate's fantastic story. I hope I do!

Blessings,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

avalonne83 said...

Great giveaway! I'd love to be entered.

I've read any book by this author before; sorry!

Please count me in. Thanks.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

buddyt said...

Kate is a new author to me but her books sound like they are good reads.

Please enter me in the giveaway.

I am an International entry.

Thanks.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

swiftfan1@yahoo.com says...

We are reading the Forgotten Garden in our book club in January. Morton's new book sounds interesting too.

maria said...

I haven't read any of her books yet but would very much like to!

billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

Laura H. said...

No, I haven't read any of Ms. Morton's books but they're on my TBR list. Just haven't gotten to them yet. Thanks for another great giveaway!


BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Amy said...

I was thrilled to see that you are giving away an ARC of The Distant Hours. I haven't read Kate Morton's books yet but they are on my tbr list and I plan to read at least one of the very soon!

Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

Aimala127 (at) gmail (dot) com

Shana said...

This sounds like a great read for the winter!

shanaelyse@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Please enter me & thx for contest
thehighflyer3(at)hotmail(dot)com

grandmap said...

New is good. CAN'T WAIT.

slb3334 said...

I have not read books by this author but would like to.

Mary said...

Sounds like a great read!

mryward(at)yahoo(dot)com

Deedles said...

Kate Morton is a new author for me. The Distant Hours sounds like a great book.
djeanq(at)gmail(dot)com

kygirl said...

No I have not read any books by this author, But I think I might want to start.

stanleybilly(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Nicole C. said...

Yes, I have read her other 2 books, and I love, love, love her lol! I would love to read this book.

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

heatherzilla said...

I have not read a book by Kate Morton, but I will have to check out her books. this one sounds fantastic.

heatherzilla(at)care2(dot)com

rubynreba said...

I have not read Kate Morton before. This book looks like one I would really enjoy.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Ruthie said...

Please enter me. I have her House at Riverton. Thanks.

ruthiekb72ATyahooDOTcom

Dawn M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ellie said...

Strangely enough I just read my first Kate Morton book last week, "The House at Riverton". I absolutely loved it and count it as one of the best books I've read all year.
I would love to read this one.
eswright18 at gmail dot com

Vicki S said...

I've read "The Forgotten Garden" and greatly enjoyed it. I would love to win this :)

sswpss at yahoo dot com

mindy said...

no i have not read anything by this author but it looks like a great start thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

Anonymous said...

I've read both her other books but loved "The Forgotten Garden"!
greenlancer at comcast dot net

Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug} said...

I haven't read Kate Morton before, but would love to read The Distant Hours :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!
http://scr.im/ladybugemail

Renee G said...

I haven't read Kate Morton before, but this sounds wonderful.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

Rhonda said...

No I haven't read Kate Morton yet.
I enjoy books with some secrets and intrigue
rhondastruthers atyahoo.ca

Jenn S. said...

I have not read any Kate Morton books before, but would love to. :)
jas8929 at gmail dot com

Becca said...

I haven't ready anything by Kate Morton before, but hope to. Thanks! sbcashortie at hotmail dot com

nhmoose99 said...

I have not read any Kate Morton books but am exploring lots of new authors right now so this would be great.

nhmoose99 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I have not read any books by Kate Morton--but your review makes me want to read this one.

farrell@crosslake.net

Anonymous said...

I would like to read this work!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good book.
shawnac68@hotmail.com\

lknott said...

Never read this author before. This book looks terrific! Thank you for your giveaway!!


lknott@partnercom.net

purango said...

I haven't Kate Morton before. This sounds like a very interesting book. garrettsambo@aol.com

A said...

This looks like a wonderful read!

ae1274 at gmail dot com

FDP 4 Life said...

i have not read kate morton before, but i really would love to start with this one
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Diane52 said...

I haven't read anything by K. Morton before, but your interview got me interested.
Thank you,
Diane Baum
esldiane@gmail.com

kathy pease said...

i have not read any books by her but this sounds very good :)

dvice said...

I have not read Kate Morton before but I'd like to

Heather said...

I've never read Kate's stuff. I'll have to check her out! Thanks!
heatherpooh (hotmail)

naynays1 said...

I have not read any books by this author. This sounds good. mightynaynay(at)cs.com

Atreau said...

I have never read Kate Morton before but am looking forward to it!

Lisa said...

I fell in love with Ms. Morton, as an author when I first read The Forgotten Garden. She is a wonderful author. Thanks for the great giveaway.