The Distant Hours (Paperback)
It was a dark and stormy night... okay, that infamous line is never used, but it might as well have been. Morton’s haunting tale is reminiscent of classic gothics novels like Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre while flawlessly interweaving two timelines: the contemporary story of Edie Burchill as she delves into her mother’s mysterious past, and the actual events that occurred when her mother was evacuated as a child from London to the country during WWII. For over a year, she lived with the sisters Blythe and their elderly father at gothic Castle Middlehurst. On a whim, Edie arranges a tour of the castle and discovers the three reclusive sisters are still in residence. After having an unnerving encounter with the youngest daughter Juniper, Edie realizes that there are some dark family secrets which her mother may be a part of. Why have the sisters never left the castle? Is Juniper’s madness purely because her fiancé jilted her 40 years previously? Why was Raymond Blythe so secretive about the origins of his book? What really happened that night in 1941? The truth will shock and linger on with you long after the story has ended.— Danielle
November 2010 Indie Next List
“A decaying castle hides family secrets, three elderly sisters protect those secrets, and a long lost letter finally delivered 50 years later could revel those secrets. The Distant Hours brings the reader a novel steeped in a gothic atmosphere by an author writing a spellbinding story in a classic style not to be missed.”
— Carol Hicks, Bookshelf At Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA
The #1 internationally bestselling author of The Forgotten Garden mesmerizes readers with this haunting tale of long-buried secrets and the twists of fate that can alter lives forever.
It starts with a letter, lost for half a century and unexpectedly delivered to Edie's mother on a Sunday afternoon. The letter leads Edie to Milderhurst Castle, where the eccentric Blythe spinsters live and where, she discovers, her mother was billeted during World War II. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives caring for their younger sister, Juniper, who hasn't been the same since her fiance jilted her in 1941. Inside the decaying castle, Edie searches for her mother's past but soon learns there are other secrets hidden in its walls. The truth of what happened in "the distant hours" has been waiting a long time for someone to find it. In this enthralling romantic thriller, Morton pays homage to the classics of gothic fiction, spinning a rich and intricate web of mystery, suspense, and lost love.
“A nuanced exploration of family secrets and betrayal . . . captivating.” —People (****)
“A new leap in Morton’s authorial choreography. . . . A rich treat for fans of historical fiction.” —The Washington Post
“A spellbinding journey, a mystery whose well-paced revelations provide a surprising and deeply satisfying read.” —Booklist
“A fresh and thrilling gothic mystery. . . . Layers of deliciously surprising secrets.”