The Distant Hours

May 15th. 2011

Wandering through my favorite bookstore, Barrons, the other day I turned to see a new book propped on a low shelf and for reasons I can’t define, (short of my addiction to fiction) bought it. The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton, proved to be one of those books that I couldn’t put down once I started and, no doubt, will linger long after I turned the last page. It’s two stories (or three, or maybe four) told through a series of undeniably circumstantial events. The unlikelihood of those circumstances doesn’t diminish the gripping nature of the story–as a matter of fact by the end the circumstances are so tightly bound that it leaves one with the idea the story couldn’t have been told any other way. I would love to give you a summary but I’m not–I couldn’t do it justice. So go with this, a WWII Gothic tale set in a moldy castle with a lot of thunderstorms, betrayals, heartbreaks, murders, and madness. And that’s just the historical story. The current story is wrought with its own secrets, unclaimed destinies and heartaches, but true to the talent of Kate Morton, it all works out in a satisfying manner that left me in awe of her writing craft as well as of her detailed (and wickedly talented) imagination.

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