The Distant Hours by Kate Morton - 562 pages
Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a
long-lost letter arrives one Sunday afternoon 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 thirteen-year-old girl, Edie’s mother is
chosen by the mysterious Juniper Blythe, and taken to live at
Milderhurst Castle with the Blythe family: Juniper, her twin sisters and
their father, Raymond, author of the 1918 children’s classic The True History of the Mud Man.
In the grand and glorious Milderhurst Castle, a new world opens up for
Edie’s mother. She discovers the joys of books and fantasy and writing,
but also, ultimately, the dangers.
Fifty years later, as Edie chases the answers to her mother’s riddle,
she, too, is drawn to Milderhurst Castle 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
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.