Quotes from The Distant Hours

Kate Morton ·  562 pages

Rating: (55.8K votes)


“I don’t have many friends, not the living, breathing sort at any rate. And I don’t mean that in a sad and lonely way; I’m just not the type of person who accumulates friends or enjoys crowds. I’m good with words, but not spoken kind; I’ve often thought what a marvelous thing it would be if I could only conduct relationships on paper. And I suppose, in a sense, that’s what I do, for I’ve hundreds of the other sort, the friends contained within bindings, pages after glorious pages of ink, stories that unfold the same way every time but never lose their joy, that take me by the hand and lead me through doorways into worlds of great terror and rapturous delight. Exciting, worthy, reliable companions - full of wise counsel, some of them - but sadly ill-equipped to offer the use of a spare bedroom for a month or two.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“After all, it's the librarian's sworn purpose to bring books together with their one true reader.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“Happiness in life is not a given, it must be seized.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“...when you love someone you’ll do just about anything to keep them.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“My fingers positively itched to drift at length along their spines, to arrive at one whose lure I could not pass, to pluck it down, to inch it open, then to close my eyes and inhale the soul-sparking scent of old and literate dust.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours



“All true readers have a book, a moment when real life is never going to be able to compete with fiction again.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“It was the sibling thing, I suppose. I was fascinated by the intricate tangle of love and duty and resentment that tied them together. The glances they exchanged; the complicated balance of power established over decades; the games I would never play with rules I would never fully understand. And perhaps that was key: they were such a natural group that they made me feel remarkably singular by comparison. To watch them together was to know strongly, painfully, all that I'd been missing.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“Rejection is a cancer, Edie. It eats away at a person.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“She hadn't wanted to be loved carefully, only well.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“For it is said, you know, that a letter will always seek a reader; that sooner or later, like it or not, words have a way of finding the light, of making their secrets known.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours



“Sometimes, Edie, a person's feelings aren't rational. At least, they don't seem that way on the surface. You have to dig a little deeper to understand what lies at the base”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“I'm good with words, but not the spoken kind; I've often thought what a marvelous thing it would be if I could only conduct relationships on paper.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“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.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“They say everyone needs something to love.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“Quite simply the book and I were meant to be together.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours



“I probably coughed self-pityingly in response, little aware that I was about to cross a tremendous threshold beyond which there would be no return, that in my hands I held an object whose simple appearance belied its profound power. All true readers have a book, a moment, like the one I describe, and when Mum offered me that much-read library copy mine was upon me.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“No two people will ever see or feel things in the same way, Merry. The challenge is to be truthful when you write. Don't approximate. Don't settle for the easiest combination of words. Go searching instead for those that explain exactly what you think. What you feel.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“She was the breeze on a summer's day, the first drops of rain when the earth was parched, light from the evening star.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“It's a funny thing, character, the way it brands people as they age, rising from within to leave its scar.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“The stretch of years leaves none unmarked: the blissful sense of youthful invincibility peels away and responsibility brings its weight to bear.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours



“Round and round the questions flew, until finally I found myself standing at the open door of a bookshop. It’s natural in times of great perplexity, I think, to seek out the familiar, and the high shelves and long rows of neatly lined-up spines were immensely reassuring. Amid the smell of ink and binding, the dusty motes in beams of strained sunlight, the embrace of warm, tranquil air, I felt that I could breathe more easily.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“When reason sleeps, the monsters of repression will emerge.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“Nighttime is different. Things are otherwise when the world is black. Insecurities and hurts, anxieties and fears grow teeth at night.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“I am not a storyteller . . . not like the others. I only have one tale to tell.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“There’s something about hospital walls; though only made of bricks and plaster, when you’re inside them the noise, the reality of the teeming city beyond, disappears; it’s just outside the door, but it might as well be a magical land far, far away.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours



“She either confused me with a much older child or else she glimpsed deep inside my soul and perceived a hole that needed filling. I've always chosen to believe the latter. After all, it's the librarian's sworn purpose to bring books together with their one true reader.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“But everyone's an expert with the virtue of hindsight . . . .”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“They were young; time hadn't yet rubbed at them, polishing their differences and sharpening their opinions...”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“Percy climbed the first step, then the next, remembering the thousands of times she'd run through the door, in a hurry to get to the future, to whatever was coming next, to this moment.”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours


“She felt like a fictional character who'd escaped the book in which her creator had carefully and kindly trapped her, taken a pair of scissors to her outline and leaped, free...”
― Kate Morton, quote from The Distant Hours



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About the author

Kate Morton
Born place: Berri, Australia
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