I kind of laugh at this book being marketed as Gothic. It's really not. I mean there's an old castle, but the book itself is so far from Gothic it's not even funny. This is a slow moving book that doesn't pick up any speed. When the book comes to the reveal at that point I just shrugged about it. There is ultimately nothing to say in the end except what a waste of many lives we get to read about in this book.
"The Distant Hours" has a long lost letter being delivered many decades after it should have gone. One of the characters in this book, Edie, is displeased (maybe that's too strong a word) that her mother may have secrets that she has never heard. Deciding to force herself into her mother's past, Edie goes hunting and goes to a castle her mother stayed at during the war years in England (Milderhurst) where the three Blythe sisters still live. Edie's mother (Meredith) has her own reasons for not wanting to revisit her past. However, Edie is given the opportunity to learn about the author of the mysterious "The True History of the Mud Man" and goes to learn more about the Blythe sisters.
Eh, Edie bugged me. Sorry. I just could not get over her sneaking and even reading her mother's private letters. Yes her aunts sucks for giving them to her (and seriously though) but Edie feels entitled to know everything about her mother. She also pries about the Blythe sisters since she also feels as if they should just open themselves up to her. Edie feels sorry for Juniper, likes the one twin, Saffy (Seraphina) and fears Percy (Persephone).
The secondary characters are barely present in this book. You read about the Blythe father and his madness, but you don't get to see it. You hear about it for the most part. We hear about how Juniper has been broken since her long lost fiancee left her, but you don't really get it since she is portrayed as vaguely confused. Juniper is also supposed to be a wonderful writer, but once again we don't get to "see" that, we just hear about what a genius she is. Same issue when we get the reveal about Percy's love life. I don't know why Morton decided to cut out things that would make these characters come to life, but she did. I absolutely loved "The Forgotten Garden", felt meh about this one, and just down and out disliked the last two books of her that I read.
The writing was okay, I just found myself bored. Honestly nothing much happens in this book until the very end. And the ending was not worth slogging through this thing.