genre: historical fiction
Edie is an editor in London living a distinctly un-thrilling and rather lonely life. When her emotionally distant mother receives a long lost letter, Edie's passionate love of a book from her childhood and her desire to get to know the woman who raised her leads her into a web of mysteries and secrets that will take some serious unraveling. A massive old castle is the setting is the primary setting in this novel-in-two-time-periods. As Edie sleuths using modern day clues, we go back to the years of World War 2, where three sisters are all making choices that will change everything.
The Distant Hours captured me quickly enough - there are threads of several different mysteries that intrigued me - murders and lost loves as well as the story novel that lies at the heart of this book. I always love a story with a book at its heart :) The writing style is pleasant and sometimes beautiful, for being as long as it is and for as busy as I am, I was always happy to spend my time reading it. That being said, three things bothered me. 1. It could've been tighter - I think 100 pages less and it would've been just as good. There was definitely some skimming. 2. After really enjoying her book The Forgotten Garden, my hopes were high that there would be a more romantic thread amongst some of the characters that just never materialized. I know, this is my own personal expectations not being met, but there you go. I didn't get anything from the love story in this one. 3. I felt vaguely manipulated by the ending. I love a plot twist as much as anyone, maybe more, but the way it played out made me feel, well, played.
It gets 3.5 stars because I DID enjoy loosing myself in the England of the 1940s and I liked the how the relationship between Edie and her mother evolved. I was just wasn't as thrilled as I'd thought I'd be.