Our Military Life Blog

The Distant Hours – Week 2

Life within the castle walls are anything but normal. Saffy dreams of a life away from the confining walls. Since she will most likely never marry, she has applied for a position as a governess which would take her away from England during the war years. Percy is doing what she can to help out with the war effort, but trying to maintain a large home, an ailing father, and still make sure the family is aiding in the efforts needed in the community. Juniper is still dancing to her own drum, and she is an enigmatic figure. When she is around, the room seems to pop and come alive.  While the children are being evacuated from London to the countryside for safety, families are suffering at being torn apart. Children, not understanding the reasons are upset, and parents are torn – wanting their child to be safe, but not wanting to let them out of their eyesight. Once the trains leave the stations, it seems the adventures begin. No one knows what awaits them when they get off the trains. Meredith is surprised when a beautiful young lady comes up to her and asks if she is ready to go – just as if they have always known each other.

But there are many secrets lurking as well.. the rumors that Juniper is engaged to be married, without having told her sisters. They are awaiting her arrival at the castle, and the arrival of a young man, Thomas Cavill. The sisters know nothing about him, other than what Juniper has written, and even some of that has been gleaned by Saffy from Junipers diary.

As we fast forward to the present day – Edie (Meredith’s daughter) has had her interest in Milderhurst Castle explode. After touring the castle, she is more and more interested in what her mother knows about the sisters, and the mystery surrounding the house. While she wants to know more about the year that her mother spent there, she cannot just come out and ask her mother. Their relationship has never been close, and feels strained most of the time. Edie really wants to know what was in the letter that her mother received from the castle (remember the one that showed up after the death of the mailman), but her mother refuses to reveal the contents to her. Edie has turned to her Aunt Rita for information. Aunt Rita is usually pretty good about giving her the information that she wants, or telling her the family stories that her mother never shares. While she pumps her aunt for news, Aunt Rita finally confesses that she has several letters from Meredith during the time she stayed with the sisters at the castle. She promises to deliver them to Edie for her to read. When her dad suffers a heart attack, she begins to read the story of the Mud Man to him, which awakens the desire to know more. He is convinced that the story is based off a true one, not something just made up. So Edie begins to dig around for more, hoping to stumble across something that would answer the theories that her father has.

Will there be answers or only more questions?

This week we are reading pages 143 – 277


  1. If your mother asked you to leave something alone, instead of learning more, would you?
  2. Percy seems to be guarding a secret, one she has not shared with anyone. Have you guessed it yet?
  3. Edie’s father believes that the story Mud Man is based on a true story. Could it have been inspired by real events?