17 October 2010

The Distant Hours; Kate Morton

The Distant Hours: A NovelThe Distant Hours: A Novel by Kate Morton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How can you not love a book that includes the following: "After all, it's the librarian's sworn purpose to bring books together with their one true reader."?

While the blurb calls this "gothic literature", it's more goth lit lite - the scary isn't there to the degree that I'd expect from that genre. Think more Rebecca than "Fall of the House of Usher." The switching between 1941 and 1992 helps, I think, keep the tone light. Of course there are some Dark Family Secrets that get revealed, and a Literary Mystery gets resolved.

Edith's trip to Milderhurt and the Castle is, at first, accidental but it's clearly fate, thanks to her mother's year-ish there during the Blitz. The Sisters Blythe (honestly, the characters are really well named here!) aren't quite as Miss Havisham as they originally are made out to be, but the Castle certainly is trapped in time. That Edith is ultimately able to unravel the past, not to mention bury it (in a manner of speaking) is not what you'd expect from the start because there are all sorts of Portents and Clues that lead the reader to think that Something with Happen to Edith.

This isn't quite what my friend Wendy would call a "comfort read" because of the gothic overtones, but it's definitely on that continuum (and there is an Aga!).

ARC provided by publisher.

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