The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

This is the first book I read by Kate Morton. Technically, heard it, as I am listening to most books, public transportation nowadays not really giving you the opportunity to sit or even hold on to a bar, and in the strive for balance there’s no room for holding a book… I must admit I did not remember the reason I chose to get it from the library and had to grab it hastily as first in my pile one morning, a bit disappointed that it could have been one of the cheesy chick flicks with a one hundred words capital. It wasn’t.
I am still at a loss for my first word about it. It’s… candid. It tries interlacing time and space, WWII with the reality of two decades ago, and it succeeds mostly. The beginning is scary and first thought was “great, a tacky vampire book”, but no, nothing to do with it. The plot is beautifully crafted, there is suspense, even well hidden. The descriptions of landscapes made me want to go back to the countryside of my childhood, remember fairy tales and muse over all the castles I visited until now.
Characters, interesting and well traced, morally a lot better than physically, as I found the expression “cat like eyes” a bit too frequent. Also, the age of Edie’s mom does not add up in a scene or two, however, these are minor details, that you almost do not notice whilst swept away by the narration: Edie’s story, close to middle age, recently single and forced to find a place to live without resources, her family, quite similar to so many, with domestic life and secrets, a mother she thought she knew and disliked who became her best friend; the Blythe sisters and their castle, Milderhust, their history, the relationship with their father, each life with its amazing potential and none of it fulfilled; the glimpses of Thomas Cavill, the missed and missing one… ; Meredith, the mother as well as the lost little girl who kept her secrets, a pillar of determination risen from all insecurity and sadness of being misunderstood.
The sisters Blythe are portraits that one would study, be charmed and study again, two of them twins and the third seventeen-eighteen years younger, all so different that one would not know where to begin, still, they are bound to the same fate, five decades and then eternity. I am tempted to start describing them and discuss their decisions, the incredulous of it all, I will not, Kate does it, and beautifully.
There is so much longing in this book, yet so much enthusiasm instilled, it makes you sit and wonder, let the rain drop on your face, rush home to hug your loved ones and smile at the life you have ahead. Candid, it is the right word…

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Category : Book Review