The Distant Hours – Week 1

Memories have a way of sneaking back from the past. Some memories are better just left at that though. When they burst through, they are not always ready to be shared with the world. When a letter shows up for Edie’s mother, it is a shock to say the least. The letter was mailed some fifty years previously, shoved in an attic by a postman, and forgotten about until his daughter discovered them after his death. While some letters brought a smile or remembrances from lost loved ones, others were more painful. Her mother never shared what was in the letter, but hid it away. Edie and her mother do not have a close relationship at all. It seems as though they just never really made the time to get to know each other properly, but Edie just lets time continue to pass.

Her mother was one of the children sent away from London when the war started. They were parceled out to homes in the country, so as they would be safer than in the cities. Meredith (Edie’s mother) was young, and when she first meets the Blythe sisters. They live in a moldering castle, one that has history steeped into the bare bones of the structure. Each of the ¬†sisters have their own lives, and their work that they are doing for the war effort. But Juniper is the unpredictable one. You never know quite what she might be up to, or what she is really thinking.

But Edie has secrets of her own that she is hiding from her family, ones that she does not want to get out.  While she pokes into her mothers past, she remembers the book that was given to her when she had the mumps, a book that still holds a special place in her heart. So when the chance to visit the castle is presented, she is hesitant to turn it down, but what is found inside is not quite what she was expecting.

As the story of the Blythe family unfolds and the tragedy that has been endured within the walls of the castle, one can understand why the feeling of ghosts might linger. But there is a deeper secret hidden within the walls, a secret so dark that for it to get out would ruin the family completely, and undo the many years of standing that they have obtained within their community. How long can it remain hidden, and how far will one go to ensure that it never gets out?

This week we are reading pages 1 – 142


  1. If you received a painful letter from the past, would you share it or hide it away?
  2. The Blythe sisters are a engaging group, but what are they hiding within the walls of their home?
  3. Do you think Edie should have been honest about who she was with the sisters when she arrived?