Another Frinton find (aka what I assume is a cast off from a local reading group that’s made its way to one of Frinton’s many, excellent, charity bookshops), and a page turner of a read, in classic Kate Morton style. A set of intertwining stories, showcasing the English countryside, society and history, combined with a slight sense of the other world that comes from having an old castle in the mix. A few mysteries, some romances, plots that consider the ties that bind families together, and plenty of people who love reading – I’ve been in my element with the Sisters Blythe.
Amazon.co.uk link: The Distant Hours – Kate Morton
A (murder) mystery, told from the perspective of Grace Bradley, who joins the domestic staff at Riverton Manor as a lowly maid at the end of the Edwardian era.
The story arc stretches forward to the late 1990s, with the narrative based on Grace recording her memories for her missing grandson, and gradually revealing details of a love triangle that resulted in the untimely death of a young poet. There are other mysteries revealed en route.
The main plot is placed in the turbulent twenties which allows for us to witness demobbed soldiers traumatised by the horrors of World War I and the hedonistic lifestyles of the rich and famous, partying away those horrors, and the increasing freedom allowed to the young – and the female young in particular.
A similar setting to Atonement/Gosford Park/Remains of the Day, but it’s a much frothier read – a good summer holiday book.
Amazon.co.uk link: The House at Riverton