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Creativity Turns to Insanity in Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours

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The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
The Distant Hours
(Atria/Simon & Schuster
November 2010)
ISBN: 9781439152782

Kate Morton, bestselling author of The Distant Hours

BookBites (Audio Interview)
Length: About 15 minutes

 

An exclusive Authorlink AUDIO Interview with Kate Morton,
New York Times bestselling author of The Distant Hours
(Atria/Simon & Schuster November 2010)
December 2010 Authorlink Edition

New York Times Bestselling
Author Kate Morton

Play Audio Interview

Already a #1 bestselling author in the UK and Australia, Kate Morton’s literary debut in the United States was an unmitigated success.  Her first novel The House at Riverton (Atria 2008), received rave reviews, with People magazine calling it a “stunning debut” and it became a New York Times bestseller.  Her second novel, The Forgotten Garden (now available in trade paperback from Washington Square Press), was equally well received and spent over two months on the New York Times list.  Now, Kate Morton is poised to take the U.S. by storm (once again) with THE DISTANT HOURS (Atria Books; $26.00; November 9, 2010), an unforgettable tale of entangled lives, love, and friendship.

Kate Morton is a powerful writer with a talent for creating enduring characters and setting them against riveting storylines.  Divided between present-day and World War II England, THE DISTANT HOURS explores the deep bonds that can form during times of hardship and the secrets that can tear them apart.  Vivid and visceral, Kate Morton’s characters will pull readers deep into their story from the very first page, and will keep them there until the very last.

Thirty-something Edie Burchill is somewhat happy, somewhat dissatisfied, with her life.  As the vice-president of a small publishing company with offices in Notting Hill, she spends her days playing with words and sentences, helping people express their ideas.  On the other hand, she has to contend with her mother, a woman she has a hard time understanding.

Everything changes, however, when Edie’s mother receives a mysterious letter postmarked from Milderhurst Castle, the place where she lived for over a year as a young girl at the height of World War II. The impact the letter has on Meredith Burchill is dramatic, but she shrugs it off when Edie asks about its contents.  Absorbed in her own life, the letter and its effects soon fade from Edie’s mind.
But during a trip into the country to meet with a potential author, Edie becomes lost and the winding roads eventually lead her to the rusty gates of Milderhurst Castle.  Intrigued, she makes some inquiries in the nearby village and learns that three sisters, Persephone, Seraphina, and Juniper, still live within its confines—each now an elderly woman, each never married.  And it is these women who took in young Meredith when she was an evacuee fifty years before.

The story of the Blythe sisters is a tragic one.  It seems that twin sisters Percy and Saffy have sacrificed their own hopes and dreams to dedicate themselves to taking care of their younger sister Juniper. 

Edie is sure that her mother is hiding something—and it has to do with the Blythe family.  She is determined to find out what it is because in some way this secret has come to represent a lifetime’s distance between her and her mother.

–Doris Booth

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