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  • The Distant Hours

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 22 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (342 ratings)

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The Distant Hours cover art

The Distant Hours

By: Kate Morton
Narrated by: Caroline Lee
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Summary

Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother’s emotional distance masks an old secret. Evacuated from London as a 13-year-old girl, Edie’s mother is chosen by the mysterious Juniper Blythe, and taken to live at Milderhurst Castle with the Blythe family.

Fifty years later, Edie too is drawn to Milderhurst and the eccentric Sisters Blythe. Old ladies now, the three still live together, the twins nursing Juniper, whose abandonment by her fiancé in 1941 plunged her into madness. Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother’s past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst Castle, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in the distant hours has been waiting a long time for someone to find it.

©2010 Kate Morton (P)2010 Kate Morton

What listeners say about The Distant Hours

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A riveting listen

This is a riveting listen. The book is haunting and evocative, with a meticulously plotted narrative which keeps you entranced right to the end. Although the Australian twang of the narrator seems a little incongruous at first, it is beautifully read, capturing the emotional range of the characters very well. I've been listening to this on my way to work and now it's ended I feel like my journey is much longer. Can't recommend it highly enough.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I feel I should've liked it more

on the whole I liked this book, but there were times I found some of the detail tedious.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Kate Morton at her very best

This is another marvellous book from Kate. I love the way the past and present always merge into one eventful story. The narration was very good. Don’t be put off by other reviewers remarks about Caroline Lee’s accent, I let it roll over me and just enjoyed the rambling wonderful tale as it twisted through a very engaging story. Lovely!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not bad for a long listen

No bad, maybe a bit overlong, good story, Would be good for a long travel.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Maddening

An English tale, set during WW2 and the recent past in London and Kent, narrated puzzlingly in an Australian accent. Caroline Lee was an engaged, intelligent reader of this overlong tale, but as others have said, the choice of her voice was bizarre and distracting for this particular novel. The plot is convoluted and told back and forth in time, slowly and at times in maddening detail. The denouement when it comes (after 21+ hours) is sudden, with an epilogue which ties up a lot of ends very swiftly. The central story/stories would have benefited from some judicious pruning; there's just too much material here. If you enjoy thoughts and emotions described in real time (and a lot of cigarettes being lit and smoked) then this is for you.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story - lots of secrets

The story is good with lots of secrets being revealed. I felt it was well researched considering the author is apparently Australian from what I gather from other reviews. Others have commented that the narrator was a problem but I though she was good; the issue is that she is Australian when none of the characters are. It's a pleasant enough accent though! She did attempt various other accents to varying degrees of success but the story stopped it from being distracting. Plot wise...it got a bit overly drawn out in places. Some twists were obvious and other things I still don't understand...

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Kate Morton once again provided a wonderful story

I love Kate Morton’s writing. Once again she does not disappoint and the narrator made it an absolute pleasure to listen to. The detail in her writing and her articulation is outstanding. Marvellous 10/10

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous

A wonderful enchanting story, beautifully written and exquisitely read. Listening to this was an experience I will struggle to match. My sincere gratitude to both the writer and the narrator

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

not the best by Kate Morton

As much as I like Kate Mortons books I have to say that it's definitely not her best one. There are too many long, unecessary passages and descriptions. The story and the writing are solid but this book would need a serious editing. The beautiful (as always) performance of Caroline Lee saves this audiobook from being indigest.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, performance a bit odd.

Really enjoyed the story. While the story was well read, a strong antipodean accent jarred somewhat with characters from London and Kent, especially when regional accents were attempted. It didn't spoil the book but was a bit odd!

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