Sunday, November 28, 2010

'Tis the Season...

As the Christmas holidays are fast approaching, I've been wondering if I should include a Christmas themed novel on my list of December reads.   I'm not usually one to select my reads based on holidays, seasons or events, but I was in my favourite local bookstore the other day and I couldn't help but notice all of the Christmas novels for sale.    I have Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, The Chimes and A Cricket on the Hearth sitting on my shelves, but should this be the year I read one of them?  I guess it will all depend on how quickly I can get through my other December reads.   

Does anyone here make it a point to read a Christmas novel during the month of December?  If so, do you re-read a favourite or do you try something new?   If you have a favourite, what is it?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Review: The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

Book Synopsis (From the Publisher):

A long lost letter arrives in the post and Edie Burchill finds herself on a journey to Milderhurst Castle, a great but moldering old house, where the Blythe spinsters live and where her mother was billeted 50 years before as a 13 year old child during WW II. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives looking after the third and youngest sister, Juniper, who hasn't been the same since her fiance jilted her in 1941.

Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother's past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in 'the distant hours' of the past has been waiting a long time for someone to find it.

Morton once again enthralls readers with an atmospheric story featuring unforgettable characters beset by love and circumstance and haunted by memory, that reminds us of the rich power of storytelling

Avid Reader's Review:


With The Distant Hours, Morton once again delivers a wonderfully enthralling tale centred around family secrets and the ties that bind.  Beautifully written, this novel brings to life a memorable cast of characters and an unforgettable setting in Milderhurst Castle.   With a plot that moves forward quickly and rarely drags, Morton slips seamlessly back and forth between wartime rural England and the early 1990s.   As she did with her previous novels, The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden, Morton once again creates a wonderful sense of time and place in The Distant Hours, and left this reader with the feeling of experiencing the events and emotions of the main characters as if I was part of the story with them.    As a result, this is a story I will not soon forget, and will recommend to all my reading friends.