The Distant Hours
By Kate Morton
Atria Books, 2010. 564 pgs. Fiction.
A letter delivered 50 years late begins a chain of events that lead Edie Burchill to a crumbling castle deep in the heart of Kent. This ancient estate is believed to be the inspiration for The True History of the Mud Man a classic novel Edie fell in love with as a child. Now she has been given the chance to investigate the origin of the book, the lives of the author’s three aging daughters, and the castle’s unexpected connection to her own family’s history.
Kate Morton weaves this gothic mystery with a narrative that changes perspectives and time periods, a writing style she has definitely succeeded with in the past. I’m not sure if my disappointment is due to the writer’s shortcomings or my high expectations after falling in love with her previous book The Forgotten Garden. Since most reviews were extremely positive for this new novel, I am almost convinced my expectations were far too high. The Distant Hours does present an intriguing story with beautifully developed characters….it just wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be.