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12 / 30 books. 40% done!

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29 / 51 states. 57% done!

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26 / 50 books. 52% done!

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26 / 100 books. 26% done!

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68 / 104 books. 65% done!

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44 / 52 books. 85% done!

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74 / 165 books. 45% done!
Friday, June 06, 2014

It's a Kate Morton Novel—Of Course I Loved It!

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ever since she was a child, Edie Burchill's been fascinated by a dark, vivid fairy tale called The True History of the Mud Man.  Written by a reclusive local author, it's a story that continues to haunt her, even as an adult.  When a lost letter, mailed fifty years ago, finally makes its way to Edie's mother, a surprising connection between the older woman and the author of Edie's favorite book comes to light.  A shocked Edie wonders why her mom never mentioned knowing the famous Blythe family.  Especially considering Edie's fondness for Raymond Blythe's best known book.  In answer to her persistent questions, Edie gets nothing—except a stern admonition to drop the subject.

If only Edie could let it go.  Intrigued by the idea of her dull, predictable mother harboring a deep, dark secret—which she must, considering her odd reaction to the old letter—Edie decides to find out just what happened when her mother stayed with the Blythes during World War II.  When she's asked to write an introduction to a new edition of The True History of the Mud Man, Edie knows it's a perfect opportunity to find the truth.  But, when she visits the Blythe sisters, a trio of elderly women who still live in their family's moldering castle, she leaves with more questions than answers.  She knows the Blythes are hiding something, but what?  And what does Edie's mother have to do with it all?  The deeper Edie digs, the more shocking her discoveries.  As revelations from the past illuminate mysteries of the present, she must decide what to do with her new-found knowledge—knowledge that could have alarming consequences for four women about whom Edie cares deeply.

Like Kate Morton's other novels, The Distant Hours tells a lush, absorbing tale about the secrets family members keep from one another, sometimes for generations.  It feels similar to the author's other books, true, but that's okay, the Morton Formula works for me!  Even though I guessed a few of this novel's plot "surprises," that really didn't detract from my enjoyment of this book.  As I have with the other stories I've read by Morton, I liked this one immensely.        

(Readalikes:  Other books by Kate Morton, including The Forgotten Garden, The Secret Keeper, and The House at Riverton)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

      for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. Lovely review, Susan! I have been meaning to read Morton for a while now. Which book would be best to start with?

    1. I honestly love all three of the ones I've read. My favorite, I think, is THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN. That's probably where I would start if I were you :)


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