The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton, is a tragic, gothic tale of three sisters living in an old castle in England. It flows back and forth in time between WWII and modern times (early 1990s): the main contemporary character, Edie, discovers that her mother stayed for a time in this castle as a child during the war. She becomes intrigued by the castle and its inhabitants (the same three sisters who cared for Edie’s mother during the war now still live there in their elder years), and gradual uncovers its dark secrets.
Overall I found that the book was too long and took many more pages to tell the tragic story than were really warranted. True, there were a few twists that were only unveiled at the very end, but the convoluted jumping back-and-forth in time approach to getting there felt like overkill for something that was in the end a fairly straightforward gothic tale.
There is no question that the story was disturbing and the storytelling is atmospheric, and that both were clearly intended by the author. I mildly enjoyed it but it did not live up to my expectations and I am not sure if I will try other books by Kate Morton or not.