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The Golden Hour

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  13,624 ratings  ·  1,762 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wives and A Certain Age creates a dazzling epic of World War II-era Nassau—a hotbed of spies, traitors, and the most infamous couple of the age, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The Bahamas, 1941. Newly-widowed Leonora “Lulu” Randolph arrives in Nassau to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazin
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  13,624 ratings  ·  1,762 reviews

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Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Williams always writes solid commercial historical fiction and this is not an exception. It’s a bit slow to start and I became weary of “Believe me” and “Let me tell you” but mercifully those particular repetitions tapered off. Consisting of two timelines, one during WWI and the other during WWII, the period details are rich. I preferred Elfriede’s story to Lulu’s although one hinges upon the other. Be aware that while the Bahamian years of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor during WWII are a cleve ...more
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
I will admit to being drawn to this book for its cover. Plus, a historical fiction about The Duke and Duchess of Windsor sounded just the ticket for escapism.
This is an extremely fast read. Lulu Randolph comes to Nassau, where the Duke has been sent to get him out of England and Europe, to do a cover story for Metropolitan Magazine. She quickly becomes part of their inner circle. In truth, she makes a deal with the devil, so to speak. She is granted access in exchange for positive reporting. Wh
Katie B
3.5 stars

I had read and enjoyed a book by this author awhile back and when I saw the gorgeous cover for this one, I immediately put it on my to be read list without even bothering to look at the synopsis. When I started reading this historical fiction book I was excited to learn Wallis Simpson and her husband, the former king of England who gave up the throne, were going to be a characters in the story. I read a biography on her not that long ago and they are both fascinating people although not
Stephanie Nicholas
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Wish I could give this a stellar review. I really, honestly do. I simply could not get into this writer's voice, and the way she tried so very hard to be more intimate with the reader than was appropriate for this story. It was just not the book for me. I fell in love with the subject matter, and the cover, but the story bored me. I wish I had better news. I look forward to seeing what others think as they read this book, as it is a new release. Hmmm. ...more
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 .5 Stars!

The Golden Hour is my first Beatriz Williams read and it will not be my last. I've always been interested in her books, but for some reason or another I never took the plunge until now. The draw for me was the Duke and Duchess of Windsor being cast, along with the setting of the Bahamas during WWII. I'm hesitant to pick up a traditional WWII book these days (I've read so many) and this took the topic that I love, but gave it a new spin. I couldn't wait to pick it back up again (and th
4.5 stars. Leonora "Lulu" Randolph, a newly widowed and newly minted reporter for an American magazine, arrives in June 1941 to Nassau to write about the latest gossip of the Bahamian governor and his wife, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. On the plane she meets a mysterious Englishman, Benedict Thorpe. She ingratiates herself into Wallis and Edward's social circle and enters into a mutual arrangement with the Duchess and her New York publisher to write the Lady of Nassau column. Clever and obse ...more
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Susan Meissner

It takes a truly gifted novelist to seamlessly weave together what appear to be separate storylines into one fantastic tale, and lucky for me, and you, and book-lovers everywhere, Beatriz Williams is that kind of writer. Her talent for creating dovetailed stories—stories that beckon and badger me to keep reading to see where and how and why the characters will collide—is unparalleled, which is why her newest, The Golden Hour, shimmers like the sun.

I adore a story th
Literary Soirée
Oh how I adore this author, her gorgeous writing, compulsively readable plots, stunning covers, and I wondered, “Can she do it again?” Indeed she can and she did with THE GOLDEN HOUR, set inventively in Nassau, WWII intrigue swirling ‘round the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, multilayered plot lines also weaving in the War to End All Wars. Plus this stunning publisher’s note, best I’ve ever read, whose writer must write his or her own novel!

“The New York Times bestsellin
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

“Was yours ever hit?”
“No. Not a scratch. I suppose even bombs have a sense of irony.”
“Not really,” I say. “That's just human illusion. We imagine there's an order to things, because it's too awful to consider the randomness of fate.”

The Golden Hour is historical fiction that mainly follows two women decades apart while slowly but surely weaving thei
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Golden Hour is our favourite novel from Beatriz and one of our most favourite read of the Year, she is really professional and an amazing writer, the way that she crafts the different times is fascinating and the topics elaborated within the book will keep you in suspense throughout the story!
Beatriz is really the present Queen of Historical Fiction, she can merge such a mindful plot with intriguing characters and bring us masterpieces, I've loved all of the books I've read from her and I'm
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free e-copy of The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams from NetGalley for my honest review.

This is the first book I have ever read by Beatriz Williams, and I was not disappointed.

This book follows two women, decades apart,and then slowly their stories come together. Elfriede is sent to a Swiss clinic because she is struggling with a darkness in her sole after the birth of her child, a/k/a postpartum depression. Back in the 1900's there was no such thing as postpartum depression so no on
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: release-2019
4.5 ☆ This is my third book and favorite so far of Beatriz Williams!! I loved the historical settings of WWl and WWll, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor with their quite interesting and highly decadent lifestyle, and it’s two main characters that alternated between Elfriede during the turn of the 19th century undergoing dark turmoil after giving birth (postpartum depression now); and in the 1940’s there’s Lulu a NYC writer currently living in Nassau to catch the latest gossip on the scan ...more
The Golden Hour was an engaging historical fiction novel by Beatriz Williams told in alternate timelines by two women until their life stories ultimately come together in an exciting conclusion. Lenore "Lulu" Randolph is sent to Nassau in the Bahamas in 1941 to report for a New York magazine the social doings of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. This Caribbean paradise was an intriguing setting for all of the rich and famous as well as unsavory characters and spies, all creating an exciting and g ...more
Maine Colonial
What a ridiculous book. The description says this is an “extraordinary epic of espionage, sacrifice, human love, and human courage, set against a shocking true crime . . . and the rise and fall of a legendary royal couple.” I enjoy a tale of espionage and WW2-related history, so I figured it was worth a try.

Don’t be suckered the way I was. This is actually a sexed-up romance with some historical window dressing. I’m not a romance reader, but I don’t think much of this as a romance, either. It’s
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This is actually 2 separate books, IMHO. And the "eyes" of both time periods, earliest years of the 1900's and 1941-43 primarily (those two) are from two different female protagonists.

It has character development to a full 4 star, but plot lines pulled the whole rating down. With that length for minutia detail and locale setting copy- this just didn't, IMHO- equate to a 400 plus page book that held together as one unit. It would have been better as a series of two books. Which it was. And the t
Laura • lauralovestoread
I love Beatriz Williams and many of her books have become some of my favorite historical fiction novels. However, The Golden Hour fell a bit flat for me and it was a slower pace than I’d hoped for.

*thank you netgalley and publisher for the digital copy for review
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams is one of those books that takes a long time to read, but one that you want to savor forever.

What it's about: I recommend reading the synopsis because it is too hard for me to explain this book in just a few sentences!

The Golden Hour took me ages to read (almost 7.5 hours) and is the type of book that you definitely want to take your time with. So if you are looking for a quick read, this isn't it. But if you are looking for a book that you can re
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
One of my favorite books by Beatriz Williams is ALONG THE INFINITE SEA. Now, I have to admit that I love plenty of her books, but that one just rocked my world as I listened to the audio version. One thing one has to know is that William's books often are connected in some way or another. You can even visit Beatriz Williams' home page to get the Schuyler family tree and the books they each appear in. Anyhow the reason I mention all this is that THE GOLDEN HOUR has connections to ALONG THE INFINI ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received and ARC of The Golden Hour from Goodreads.

Okay, 2.5 stars. This book was really, really slow to start. In fact, I would say I didn’t actually become interested in all of the storylines until 3/4s the way through. The only thing that kept me going was Elfriede’s story.

My other complaints are that Williams would change tenses depending on the storyline and year. I get that this was to make you feel certain things were happening at that moment and others happened in the past, but it was
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Golden Hour is the first book I’ve read that’s written just by Beatriz Williams although I’ve read her books co-authored with Karen White and Lauren Willig and loved them, which is one of the reasons I really wanted to read this one. The other reason is because I’m fascinated with anything to do with the very intriguing Duchess of Windsor, less so the Duke, and they are minor characters in the novel, with one of the main narratives of the story weaving around their lives.

Williams is an incre
Camille Maio
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beatriz Williams is always a go-to favorite of mine and this one did not disappoint! Spanning several eras of a family, I found each narrative equally intriguing. I'll be eagerly awaiting her next one! ...more
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Golden Hour spans from 1900 to 1951. It includes historical moments from the Bahamas, Germany, Switzerland, United States and London/Scotland. "The stories of two unforgettable women thread together in this extraordinary epic of espionage, sacrifice, love and courage, set against a shocking true crime and the rise and fall of a legendary royal couple." (from jacket)

This book turns the pages all by itself.. or so it seems, right up until close to the end, when you don't want it to end so you
Amy Bruestle
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book in exchange for an honest review...

Holy cow! Talk about a lot going on! I really enjoyed this book! I have found that I actually tend to enjoy historical fiction books way more than I think I will prior to starting the book. At least that has been the case with the last few of them that I have read anyways.

This book is literally packed with relationships. I liked how it constantly made me think! I found myself closing the book just to remind myself silently in my head who was wh
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-2019
The perfect blend of fact and fiction sprinkled with intrigue, espionage and royalty make Beatriz Williams the ‘Queen of Historical Fiction.’ Her latest novel, ‘The Golden Hour,’ drips with all the aforementioned qualities plus sensational characters, real and imagined. We, the innocent bystander, aka reader, are paralyzed into flipping pages until we discover the truth, or what’s left of it, or what’s masquerading as the truth.
Two women, so different on the outside, but so deeply intense on the
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
4 fascinating historical fiction stars

I must say that I had no idea what happened to the former King Edward when he abdicated from the throne to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson. Turns out the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were sent to the Bahamas for Edward to serve as Governor with grand hopes of something bigger in their future. This book is a fascinating look at that time in history and I enjoyed this insider’s peek into this world.

A main character of the book, Lulu, heads to the Bahamas in the e
Mellie Antoinette
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
That was unexpected. I opened this one blindly and found myself immersed in WWII Bahamas and all the drama of Wallis Simpson’s lipstick on a coffee cup.

Lulu is harboring a secret. Hell, everyone in this story is harboring something, so Lulu’s no different. Then it’s just girl meets boy, boy leaves girl gets himself sent to Colditz, so naturally, we have to solve that problem pronto, and while we’re solving that, who wants to share their secret first?!

Some kind of delightful!
Did not finish. I have read quite a few books by Beatriz Williams- including her co-authoring: all 5 stars. I found the timeline hard to follow; her writing style disjointed and the pace slow.
Alayne Emmett
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another goodie from Beatrix Williams. This one was yet again a dual time line and yet again it held my interest all the way through. There was a lot of mystery in this book and a lot of the story was centred around Edward and Mrs Simpson which I found fascinating.
Even the ends was a surprise, something I wasn’t expecting and it made the book all the more enjoyable.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. It took me well over 150 pages to get into this story. That being said I did enjoy this book. Because of the dual timelines, though, I really needed to focus and not let my mind wander. The story is about love and war and the struggle to go on against all odds. The two main characters, Lulu and Elfriede, were complicated women with complicated lives. I enjoyed Elfriede’s story more. Beatriz Williams is a beautiful writer who gave me a history lesson on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor ...more
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in2019
3.5 stars.

This was perhaps not my favourite of Beatriz Williams' books. For one, I think too much of the plot threads came together at the end (like, from 87% on the kindle edition, with not enough foreplanning), and for another... I don't know that this book fully matches the blurb? One thing I love about Williams' writing is the sort of detached, lyrical style, but my experience of this book was that it kept me quite seperate from the story. The blurb of the book suggests that the treason/Nazi
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