The Distant Hours is perfect for book lovers. And that's my final stand on it. It's a wonderfully dreamy book, spanning different times and characters, brought together by the love of the written word.
The book follows Edie, who, through chance, ends up exploring her family history. Well, her mom's history during the war anyway. And because her mom ended up staying with the Blythe family, her story is intertwined with the book The True History of The Mud Man. As she digs, she discovers that there's more to her mom and the book that she originally thought.
Basically, this book follows a dual plot-line. There's the here-and-now, where Edie is re-connecting (or trying to) with her mother by trying to learn about her, and there's the then-and-there, during the war. The pacing of both plots was very well done, with each leaving more information about the other, until it all comes together at the end of the book.
Oh yes, how could I forget Juniper. She's possibly my favourite character in the book, and also the most tragic. She's the youngest of the Blythe sisters, and insane by the time Edie meets her. But when you see her when she's young, she's really entrancing. She's by no means perfect, she's fairly selfish and quite strange, but you can just sense that her heart is in the right place.
But really, all the characters change over the course of the book. Meredith (the mother) seems cold and distant, but as the book goes on, we can see why she was like that. Percy and Saffy, the older Blythe sisters, seem like eccentric old ladies at first, but as we see them when they're young, we see that they have their own hopes and dreams and secrets. You can take any character, compare them, and see a marked difference.
In conclusion, this book is highly recommended. It has a wonderful storyline, believable characters, and to top it off, it's full of references to books. What more can you ask for?
A Singaporean Girl saying "Hi" from Japan!