The Distant Hours by Kate Morton isn't a book to be just read, it is one that you will find yourself immersed in. She has an amazing gift for prose and each passage is delightfully crafted as are the characters.
The story is of a young woman, Edie, whose mother spent some of the war years, as an evacuee from London, at Milderhurst Castle in Kent and Edie's quest to find out what happened there. Her thoughts that life at the castle had been different from the stories her mother told, was prompted by a letter that was delivered after "waiting half a century in a forgotten postal bag in the dim attic of a nondescript house in Bermondsey."
Flitting back to England in the 1940s Kate Morton intertwines the lives during the war years of three sisters who live at Milderhurst Castle and when they meet Edie in the 1990s.
From Chapter One
Dusk slumped into place around me, filling the depressions between the undulations and woods of the Milderhurst estate, creeping across the fields and swallowing the light. . . The characters of the castle had come to life for me that afternoon; they'd seeped beneath my skin as a I read and I now felt that I had known them all forever. That although I'd stumbled upon the village of Milderhurst by accident, there was a rightness to my being there.
Reading group guide for The Distant Hours here