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The Golden Hour

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,575 ratings  ·  339 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
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Hardcover, 480 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by William Morrow
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Jessica Asbell That's the way I took it. it's also possible that (for whatever unknown reason) they were part of the murder.

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3.97  · 
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 ·  1,575 ratings  ·  339 reviews


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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
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WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker
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 their
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Tammy
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Williams always write 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 clever ...more
Literary Soirée
DID IT AGAIN!
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!

HOTBED OF SPIES
“The New York Times bestsellin
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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!
DeAnn
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
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Cindy
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
Linda Quinn
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No one weaves historical fiction with threads of truth like Beatriz Williams and The Golden Hour is another fine example of this. Set mostly in Nassau, Bahamas during World War 2 this story is chock full of intrigue, espionage, questions of loyalty and the very real Duke and Duchess of Windsor who were governor and First Lady during those years. Included as a counterpoint is the story of one man and woman, one generation back, caught up in love and their own wartime hardships leading up to and i ...more
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
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Lulu, a young widow, is on the gorgeous island of the Bahamas working for an American magazine. The British Royal family is all the rage in the 1940s, especially Edward VIII and the woman he left the crown for--Wallis Simpson. Lulu infiltrates their social circle one socialite at a time all while dealing with spies, politics, the ongoing war, and of course, a budding romance. The story jumps back to Switzerland and slowly shares the tale of Elfriede von Kleist who is stuck in a health clinic due ...more
Rachel
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
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Eden Church | The Required Reading List
4.5 stars!

WOW! The Golden Hour is not a read you're going to want to miss. I found that the book started a bit slow and disorienting, but by the time I reached the end I was flipping back wishing it had more pages. This book continues all of the things that we fans love from Beatriz Williams, but it has a fresh edge to it, a spark that sets her writing on fire.

*thank you to William Morrow and Edelweiss for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.*
Carrie
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might be my favorite of Beatriz Williams' novels. I loved all of the characters and was so absorbed in the plot. Some of it is told out of time order, and I am usually skeptical of that. If the story isn't interesting when told in time order, I think the storyteller is using a crutch to tell a weak story. I think this story would be just as engaging if told in time order. I love it!
Em
Well, this will be tough. It’s a great story, but I struggled to finish it. The POV changes, the flashbacks, the large cast of characters, the historical detail...the insane amount of cigarettes smoked...

AAR review to come.
Toni
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
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Cait
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
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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Tisha (IG: Bluestocking629)
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First thank you Harper Collins Publishers and William Morrow Books for this wonderful historical fiction ARC! I would also like to thank the amazing author Beatriz Williams for taking that vacation with your husband that led to you writing this delicious book.

This book, although fiction, was based on actual events that took place in the Bahamas, London, etc. in the 1940s and all over Europe and Florida in the early 1900s. While our two protagonists are fictional women our supporting cast are com
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MicheleReader
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great feeling it is when you anxiously await one of your favorite author’s latest book (after being distraught that you were declined for an advance copy), you tear into it and yes, it lives up to your high expectations. Phew. Loved The Golden Hour. Williams again weaves a wonderful story, told in two timelines, filled with interesting characters and some well known historical figures (including the not so regal Duke and Duchess of Windsor). I’m a fast reader but I took my time on this on ...more
Onceinabluemoon
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Love historical fiction but I quit this at 30%, just didn't care for it, plain and simple!
GoodlyWitch
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
If I could give this book more than five stars, I would do so. It’s that good. It is well-written with beautiful descriptions, but not too much, and interesting characters whom I felt like I knew personally. My favorite part of the book, however, is how Beatriz Williams skillfully weaves together two seemingly parallel plot lines that ultimately crossover in a beautifully satisfying ending. Pure literary genius.

When I first read the synopsis, I assumed that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor would
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Waleska 'Wally'
Historical Fiction and Historical Romance are two of my favorites book genres - I got more than few- but lately it have been difficult to find a Historical Fiction story that kept me interested and engaged from the first to the last page.

Well, folks , I found that book, my search is over . The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams is that book.

Beatriz Williams weaves a captivating tale of interesting characters , drama and mystery . As the settings are based in real places, circumstances and people
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Vicki
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Golden Hour is a story that reaches back in time and goes back and forth between WWI and WWII. The story entwined within both these historical events gives you a feeling of the harshness of the times but also the beauty that came through those difficult days.

This is a story of one family, past and present, that endured these times and saw the best and worst in people they knew and how their lives revolved and evolved around them. The family itself “The Thorpe’s”, had both Scottish and Germa
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K
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I started The Golden Hour (thanks to LibraryThing AND Edelweiss for the ARCs) with some excitement and some trepidation, as I've had difficulty catching on to Ms. Williams' previous novels. This was no different but I persevered, and was pleasantly surprised as I became wrapped up in the dual stories of Lulu and Elfriede. I felt the heat of the Bahamas, and the chill of a war-torn London. But about two-thirds of the way, after denouement and denouement, I was exhausted, and wondering why I wasn' ...more
Jane
Thanks to Goodreads and Wm. Morrow for this ARC.

Beatriz Williams is one of my favorite authors. This one had so many characters that I felt I needed a scorecard to keep track of them all and how they were related or were connected. A lot to remember and retain. No wonder it was such a big book. Thankfully it was a fast-moving book and it came together eventually but when it finally came together I still had a hard time how they were connected.

I enjoyed it though it wasn't as good as her others
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Nicole Savage
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such an epic historical fiction
I loved it
Sharlene
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read and enjoyed every book Beatriz Williams has written. This one kept me up until the wee hours of the night, made me shed tears, made we feel this is quite possibly her best and my new favorite, and will forever make me see the golden hour with memories of this beautiful book. Definitely a 5 star read with memorable characters and fast paced story line.
Shannon Dyer
Review to come at AAR closer to pub date.
Nicole R
This is my favorite Beatriz Williams book in a while, but I still have my one same, lingering complaint. But, first, the good stuff.

Lulu arrives in Nassau in 1942. She is a writer and aspires to write about important events around the world, but for now she is writing a gossip column about the endlessly fascinating Duke and Duchess of Windsor who have been banished to The Bahamas to serve as governor of this remote territory. Lulu quickly integrates herself with Wallis Simpson through the Red C
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Rebecca
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wob-books
4.5 stars, but rounding up for Goodreads.

I really enjoyed this book and the way the different stories were told really surprised me. I always love reading about WWII and was thrilled so see that one of my favorite authors wrote this book partly from the events in the Bahamas at that time. Such a unique perspective to me; many times we forget that the rest of the world kept turning during these horrible wars, and we don't consider how they may also have played roles. I did know that the Duke of W
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ABookwormWithWine
⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 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 really
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“I thought I’d traveled into another universe. I thought I’d stepped into another Earth entirely, a paradise lit by an eternal sun, a release from everything old, everything dreary. Then I touched land and discovered that freedom was not so straightforward, that you could move to a different universe but you couldn’t escape the prison of your own skin.” 0 likes
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