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The distant hours : a novel
Kate Morton
Adult Fiction MORTON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A letter posted in 1941 finally reaches its destination in 1992 with powerful repercussions for Edie Burchill, a London book editor, in this enthralling romantic thriller from Australian author Morton (The Forgotten Garden). At crumbling Milderhurst Castle live elderly twins Persephone and Seraphina and their younger half-sister, Juniper, the three eccentric spinster daughters of the late Raymond Blythe, author of The True History of the Mud Man, a children's classic Edie adores. Juniper addressed the letter to Meredith, Edie's mother, then a young teen evacuated to Milderhurst during the Blitz. Edie, who's later invited to write an introduction to a reprint of Raymond's masterpiece, visits the seedily alluring castle in search of answers. Why was her mother so shattered by the contents of a letter sent 51 years earlier? And what happened to soldier Thomas Cavill, Juniper's long-missing fiance and Meredith's former teacher? Despite the many competing narratives, the answers will stun readers. 5-city author tour. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Morton (The Forgotten Garden) has quickly established herself as a master of modern gothic, producing complicated and completely satisfying historical mysteries. Her third novel solidifies her dominion. As a wartime evacuee from London at the time of the Blitz, 13-year-old Meredith Baker is in awe both of the ancient Milderhurst castle where she is staying and of its inhabitants, the Blythes-sweet and maternal Saffy; her shrewd twin, Percy; and the wild and talented Juniper, who becomes Meredith's best friend. Fifty years later, a lost letter arrives to remind Meredith of her time at Milderhurst, even though she has long tried to bury the memory. It falls to her daughter, Edie, to begin to untangle her mother's secrets. The trail leads back to Milderhurst and the -Blythes and into an even thicker nest of hidden mysteries that Edie is determined to uncover. VERDICT Featuring a fresh and thrilling gothic mystery, cinematic storytelling, and fully developed characters who possess layers of deliciously surprising secrets, this complex story is developed at a leisurely but compelling pace that keeps readers hooked. Recommended for a wide readership, including mystery lovers and historical fiction fans. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/10.]-Therese Oneill, Monmouth, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Edie Burchill
Female
Received a letter addressed to her mother that was mailed in 1941; travels to Milderhurst Castle where three elderly sisters, the daughters of the late Raymond Blythe, Edie's favorite author, live and where her mother was evacuated to during World War II.

Persephone Blythe
Female
Twin
Daughter of the late Raymond Blythe, a famous children's author; Seraphina's twin sister; lives in a decaying manor house with her sisters.

Seraphina Blythe
Female
Daughter of the late Raymond Blythe, a famous children's author; Persephone's twin sister; lives in a decaying manor house with her sisters.

Juniper Blythe
Female
Spinster
Daughter of the late Raymond Blythe, a famous children's author; Persephone and Seraphina's half-sister; lives in a decaying manor house with her sisters; her fiance went missing in 1941.



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