Monday, December 27, 2010


Pages: 670
Date: 27/12/2010
Grade: 5++

This is one wonderful Gothic novel.
It's 1992 when Edie Burchill's mother receives a letter that has been lost for 50 years. A letter that clearly upsets her. Edie and her mother aren't close though, and that prevents Edie from just asking what is wrong.
She does notice that the return address on the letter is Milderhurst Castle in Kent.
Over the next few months, Edie finds herself finding out more about her mother and about Milderhurst Castle.
She discovers that her mother was evacuated out of London during the first part of WW II. In Kent she was chosen by Juniper Blythe to come and live with her and her family in Milderhurst Castle. And Edie's mom had been happy there with Juniper, her two older twin sisters and even with their scary and mostly absent father, Raymond Blythe, the author of the children's classic, The True History of the Mud Man.
But even then Milderhurst Castle was hiding secrets, and more secrets are to be added. Secrets that 50 years later will be unraveled by Edie. Secrets that cover up a shocking and disturbing history.

This was a fascinating book and a wonderful but rather strange reading experience.
While reading this book it felt as if the story was moving slowly, taking it's time to reveal not a whole lot, or so it would appear. Yet, I couldn't put the book down. Was completely gripped in the story and compelled to keep on reading. On several occasions I thought I knew what the solution to the secrets was, only for the ending of the book to take me by surprise while making perfect sense as well.
Even the one event in the book I did see coming a mile off and thought would dampen my enthusiasm for the story couldn't make me love the book any less. It was the only thing that could have happened at that point in the story, that would have made any sense and therefore it was right, predictable or not.
This is the third book I've read by Kate Morton. This is also the third time she's managed to completely captivate me and wrap me up in her world. There is little as wonderful as having a book living up to or even exceeding your expectations. This book certainly did that.

Two quotes: 

"After all, it's the librarian's sworn purpose to bring books together with their one true reader." (page 31)

"She says there are stories everywhere, and that people who wait for the right one to come along before setting pen to paper end up with very empty pages."
(page 462)

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