This book is long. 560 pages, to be exact.
And I almost gave up on it. Not because of the amount, but because I just couldn’t get into it. It took 125 pages for me to care about the characters, the story, and the outcome. But once I got there, it was spell-binding.
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton focuses on Edie, a thirty-something woman who lives in a world of books: reading to escape reality, editing them at her day job, and best friends with her publisher boss. Edie would much rather live inside a book than in the reality of her long-dead brother, her recently dissolved relationship, and her lukewarm relationship with her mother.
But it’s a letter that arrives out of the blue one day while Edie is visiting her mother that sets into motion a chain of events that will forever change their world. A world that Edie’s mother has tried to keep hidden for so long. A world that Edie is desperate to know all about.
That world includes a mysterious castle, World War II, family secrets, a world-famous novel, and tragic accidents.
I felt like this book was longer than it needed to be. I found myself skipping whole paragraphs of descriptions because I couldn’t focus on it and wanted to get to the action, the dialogue, the plot. I felt the overly verbose setting details got in the way more than set the stage. But once I got past that distraction, the story was good. And creepy and eerie and unbelievable. I don’t know if I’d call this historical fiction or gothic mystery or realistic fiction. Maybe all three.
It was out of my comfort zone to read this one. It took longer than I’d like to admit, but it was worth the time. There were some really powerful lines and parts that stayed with me for days, but sometimes it took a lot of energy to get to those parts. But I’m intrigued by the author and might check out more of her books.
Have you read Kate Morton before? How about The Distant Hours, what did you think?
DISCLOSURE: AFFILIATE LINKS USED.