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FlirtatiousBrat 04-01-2011 06:49 PM

The Distant Hours-Discussion *May Contain Spoilers*
 
Feel free to start discussing the book. I will be back to add my thoughts soon

*Celeste* 04-05-2011 01:26 PM

is anyone reading this? i'm on page 120. i think it's just starting to pick up.

maryinaz 04-05-2011 01:34 PM

I am! I'm not that far into it, but I already like it.

*Celeste* 04-05-2011 01:34 PM

OK I'll start with a discussion question. The book opens with the first chapter of the book "The True History of the Mud Man." Do you think the Mud Man is a person, an animal, or a monster? Is the Mud Man ficitional or real, fairy tale or biography? Do you think the story of the Mud Man is going to be explained later in the book? Who do you think the young girl in the window is supposed to be? Percy? Saffy? Juniper?

Don't answer if you've finished and know the real answer!

*Celeste* 04-05-2011 01:41 PM

Cynical me - I think the Mud Man is Raymond Blythe and the girl in the window is either Saffy or Percy. I'm guessing that Raymond Blythe abused the daughter somehow - either sexually, physically or mentally. The book is his way of trying to explain why it happened.

ovaltine 04-05-2011 07:10 PM

I somehow think that young Meredith (the mom) was the girl on the window. What do you think?

Emmy 04-05-2011 07:46 PM

I finished the book so I can't answer too specifically but I will say that I think as a reader you will be very satisfied by the end of the book - you won't be left wondering.

I loved this book - I decided to read it on a whim after seeing it was a book choice here and I was completely hooked after the intro. Loved it! I might have to look at more from this author.

FlirtatiousBrat 04-05-2011 07:49 PM

I'm at a standstill..I'm on about page 50ish and can't get into it..I'm going to keep on reading though since Celeste said it started to pick up around pg 120 but it's already outside my usual genre of books and I'm the type of person if i'm not hooked early on I won't finish it.

FlirtatiousBrat 04-11-2011 10:03 PM

ok im REALLY trying but I can't get into it :( I'm on page 84..only read like 30 pages in a week....i'm gonna give it a go still just having a hard time with it.

*Celeste* 04-11-2011 11:30 PM

meghan - i have to agree. i'm further in but it's really not going anywhere. she uses 100 words when she could use 5.

*Celeste* 04-11-2011 11:30 PM

and i thought it was picking up but it wasn't. i think i'm on 300 and something.

maryinaz 04-12-2011 12:13 AM

I'm on page 205. I admit, it's a little slow going, but I'm still hoping it picks up some.

ovaltine 04-12-2011 01:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by *Celeste* (Post 804796)
meghan - i have to agree. i'm further in but it's really not going anywhere. she uses 100 words when she could use 5.

LOL I knew exactly what you mean. That's the beauty of Kate Morton's book though; the details. It's as if you're there too, with the characters...

Either that or it's been a long day for me. :p

eranslow 04-12-2011 01:55 AM

started this book today. don't know how I feel about it yet - I'm not very far at all. Hopefully it will catch my attention!

FireWolf 04-12-2011 02:07 AM

Maybe this is one of the advantages of listening to it instead of actually reading. I quite enjoyed the book and the ending was a bit of a surprise which is nice for me because I usually have the ending figured out about halfway through a book or movie. Not this one though.

Emmy 04-12-2011 05:07 PM

I am so surprised that some of you are finding it a slow read. I loved this book. As far as her descriptions...to me that is a sign of a good writer, quickie paragraphs that don't include details make me think of children's books (Percy Jackson comes to mind) and chic lit (Jennifer Weiner et al). You definitely have to be patient to get the answers, but I just thought it was a really well written book and it pulled me into the story very well.

*Celeste* 04-12-2011 07:23 PM

i enjoy description as well, but i don't think the book was well edited.

FireWolf 04-13-2011 02:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Emmy (Post 805020)
I am so surprised that some of you are finding it a slow read. I loved this book. As far as her descriptions...to me that is a sign of a good writer, quickie paragraphs that don't include details make me think of children's books (Percy Jackson comes to mind) and chic lit (Jennifer Weiner et al). You definitely have to be patient to get the answers, but I just thought it was a really well written book and it pulled me into the story very well.

I agree completely. Granted, I listened to it on my iPod, but it had me so captivated that I didn't even put the iPod down when DH came home from work, not even to eat dinner. LOL I enjoyed it so much that I am actually going to be listening to it again over the next few days while I spring clean. :)

I was, however, slightly disappointed that Edie was left guessing at the end and her guess was incorrect.

KateD 04-13-2011 05:57 AM

I'm another who found the book a bit slow going at first. Don't give up on it. I finished it yesterday and I can't stop thinking about it. I was also a bit disappointed that Edie didn't know the full story at the end, but I think that made the book even more realistic. How often do we really know the truth about things and how often is our understanding just a "best guess"? Makes you think. Made me think, anyway. I'm just glad that we knew what really happened at the end of the book. I was afraid that we'd be left guessing, too.

FireWolf 04-13-2011 07:00 AM

Kate - You have a very good point about it making it seem more realistic. You know it made me think, too. But it also made me think about how different it all could have been if they had all communicated to each other throughout the entire book. How many things in our lives turn out it in a way we didn't wish for only because we didn't speak up let our thoughts, feelings and truths be known? Oh I'm so glad we weren't left guessing at the end, too.

*Celeste* 04-13-2011 07:39 AM

the last 100 pages of the book were great. :) i enjoyed the ending and while i kind of knew earlier on what had happened to thomas - i obviously guessed wrong as to the particulars. i wish that meredith had the chance to see juniper one more time. i think that would have been interesting. trying not to say too much.

KateD 04-13-2011 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FireWolf (Post 805197)
But it also made me think about how different it all could have been if they had all communicated to each other throughout the entire book. How many things in our lives turn out it in a way we didn't wish for only because we didn't speak up let our thoughts, feelings and truths be known?

Exactly! If they had communicated honestly with each other, things could have turned out a lot differently. Also, if a couple of them hadn't tried to be so controlling it could have turned out very differently.

Andrea G 04-13-2011 11:24 PM

I enjoyed this book. I agree, it took a ::long:: time to get going, and Kate Morton really makes you work to read her books. I did feel like this book could have been edited down to 200 less pages. It's almost like she had a page quota she was trying to fulfill or something... I still liked it, although of all her books (and yes, I'm a Kate Morton junkie and have read everything she's written!) The Forgotten Garden is, by far, my most fav! Hang in there, those of you who haven't gotten too far, I really think it's worth reading. It's def the most fulfilling in the end. It's one of those books that is all worth it in the end. I did really enjoy the characters she had in this book, and there were some surprises for me. I had guessed a few of them, but several of them were total surprises, which I love! :)

I prolly won't reread this book, but The Forgotten Garden I will reread a LOT! I do really like this author! Are any of you guys on www.goodreads.com - I ::luv:: that site! (it's sorta like facebook for readers!)

emmasmommy 04-13-2011 11:30 PM

*sigh* i wanted to like this book, but i just can't get into it

livelys 04-14-2011 08:56 AM

This is the first time I've participated in a book club, so I didn't realise we talked about the book as we went :p - I was beginning to worry I was the only one finding this book l-o-n-g.

I'm also listening to the story rather than reading (the paperback isn't out over here & library copies for the hardback were non-existant), and although I'm enjoying it & loving how descriptive the author is, I am finding it more than a little long-winded. I'm agreeing with Celeste's comment about more editing required.

I'm about 2/3rds through, and think I have more than good idea where poor Thomas ended up, and have a poor opinion of the oldest sister. Yes, I think Raymond was involved in an incident that lead to the MudMan story too, but I haven't made my mind up whether he was the boy in the story or whether he was the villan - I circle back to the newspaper report that Ediths dad found about a missing child.

I'm relieved to read that the reader at least gets to know the answers in the end - I really don't like to be left hanging!!

I think next month I going to choose a more uplifting, happy story to read...

Robin Carlton 04-14-2011 11:11 AM

I love Kate Morton and was thinking about reading this, so I've been checking out the discussion here a bit. Now I'm not sure I want to read it. I did notice it was bigger than her other books - will have to see if I get around to it.

livelys 04-17-2011 09:03 AM

I've finished listening to it! I now definitely think a little more editing should have been employed - it was a greatstory, truly beautiful descriptive prose - but I think it could have ended successfully sooner than it did.

Did anyone else think that it was concluded & feel vaguely surprised that there was another chapter, and then another after that?

I'm going to start a lighter, quick-read next, just to put me in a happier mood - as it was such a sad tale really.

ovaltine 04-18-2011 04:38 AM

I just finished reading it today, and the ending was surprising. All I can say is I did not see that coming at all. What an intricate story!

livelys 04-19-2011 09:02 AM

It was bitter sweet to know that Juniper was an angel in so many ways, but will always be thought of by her family & Edie as being 'odd' & probably much worse - don't you think?

maryinaz 04-20-2011 01:30 AM

Just finished - I ended up really liking it! Yes, it was slow in places, but the whole tale was captivating and I'm glad I read it.

FlirtatiousBrat 04-21-2011 09:47 PM

ok glad I soldiered on and kept reading..Lemme preface by saying this is the first Kate Morton book I have read and don't have any of her others to compare it to. I did not really enjoy this read..I mean the story was reallly good but wow she needed an editor. The thing that bugged me was it would go on and on with virutually no "info" then she'd bombard you at once with details. That frustrated me beyond anything I think. I am also the type of person that if I'm not captivated in the first 3-5 chapters I will drop the book and not finish it. I'd heard this was a good read and since it was the choice this month I kept at it. Not sure I would have otherwise.

eranslow 04-21-2011 11:40 PM

I returned my copy to the library today. Just couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll try it some other time? :) we'll see!

lovely1m 04-26-2011 01:29 PM

I finally finished it last night. I never take nearly a month to read a book. I just couldn't get into it either and I totally agree about the comment that you kept thinking it was over and then another chapter. Its like she kept alluding to some sort of sexual abuse which never happened either. I just didn't enjoy it much.

Misty Cato 06-09-2011 12:24 AM

Clearly late to the party, but I recently got this one from the library.

I agree with many of the other comments; really great story but too drawn out. Typically I adore description and development, but it seemed like she was making many of the same points over and over again rather than developing the plot, setting or character.

Overall, I'm glad I got through it, because the story was enthralling.

Jenn Barrette 06-12-2011 01:35 AM

Finally got it this week, and finished it tonight.

Like everyone else, I had a very hard time getting into it. I was probably 1/2 way through before I was hooked on the story, and did a lot of skimming to get to that point. I did enjoy the last few chapters...but still not sure it was worth all the long descriptions.

Ingridfasquelle 06-24-2011 08:59 AM

I bought the French edition after that i heard about it on TV ! Now that i read a bit about it here, i'm not sure i want to read it...

shaynesgirl 06-30-2011 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emmasmommy (Post 805558)
*sigh* i wanted to like this book, but i just can't get into it

This for me too. :huh:


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