Ultimately satisfying, but the journey was quite long and rambling. There was beautiful prose along the way, but I found it hard to follow as an audiobook. I think the going back and forth in time, and shifting points of view might be clearer in the text. The gradual unveiling of various secrets took the oomph out of any suspense the author was trying to create. In the end, nothing has really changed for any of the characters except possibly the relationship between Edie and her mother. I was mostly left wondering what the point of all the wandering was. I think it would have worked better as a straight story about the three sisters and their failed romances and frustrated dreams, without framing it with the letter and the modern day journalist trying to unravel their secrets. A nice homage to gothic fiction, yes, but a romantic thriller, no.
It starts with a letter, lost for half a century and unexpectedly delivered to Edie’s mother on a Sunday afternoon. The letter leads Edie to Milderhurst Castle, where the eccentric Blythe spinsters live and where, she discovers, her mother was billeted during World War II. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives caring for their younger sister, Juniper, who hasn’t been the same since her fiancé jilted her in 1941. Inside the decaying castle, Edie searches for her mother’s past but soon learns there are other secrets hidden in its walls. The truth of what happened in “the distant hours” has been waiting a long time for someone to find it. In this enthralling romantic thriller, Morton pays homage to the classics of gothic fiction, spinning a rich and intricate web of mystery, suspense, and lost love.