Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Julie's Review: The Golden Hour

Author: Beatriz Williams
Series: None
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 485
Obtained: own
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Bottom Line:
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: The Bahamas, 1941. Newly-widowed Leonora “Lulu” Randolph arrives in the Bahamas to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. What more intriguing backdrop for their romance than a wartime Caribbean paradise, a colonial playground for kingpins of ill-gotten empires? Or so Lulu imagines. But as she infiltrates the Duke and Duchess’s social circle, and the powerful cabal that controls the islands’ political and financial affairs, she uncovers evidence that beneath the glister of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly—and even treasonous—reality. In fact, Windsor-era Nassau seethes with spies, financial swindles, and racial tension, and in the middle of it all stands Benedict Thorpe: a scientist of tremendous charm and murky national loyalties. Inevitably, the willful and wounded Lulu falls in love.Then Nassau’s wealthiest man is murdered in one of the most notorious cases of the century, and the resulting coverup reeks of royal privilege. Benedict Thorpe disappears without a trace, and Lulu embarks on a journey to London and beyond to unpick Thorpe’s complicated family history: a fateful love affair, a wartime tragedy, and a mother from whom all joy is stolen. ~amazon.com

Review: The Golden Hour is set in the heavenly island of the Bahamas during WWII when the former King of England is now the Governor of the Island with his wife Wallis Simpson. I pretty much only knew that he abdicated the throne to marry a divorce from the States the rest I had not a clue about. For the purposes of the novel though they were merely a conduit for the story that Ms. Williams wanted to tell. The real story is about Elfriede and Lulu as their stories are front and center and how their stories intersect.

Lulu is an independent woman who is seeking to find refuge in a place that has nothing to do with her history and working as a journalist for a NYC magazine suits her just fine. So when they send her to the Bahamas to cover the Duke and Duchess, she needs to find a way to gt into their inner circle to attend the parties they hold. What she doesn't expect is to find herself in the middle of the spy game. Lulu is shrewd and uses it to her advantage but doesn't realize how it will affect her life in the short term and long term. I liked Lulu a lot; she was plucky, smart and savvy. She doesn't compromise who she is but definitely uses it to her advantage.

Elfriede's story begins in a mental institution where her husband sent her after she gave birth to their son because she wasn't properly bonding with him. It is there where her story of love and hope truly begins. This is where she meets the man who will never leave her heart, Wilfred Thorpe. She goes back to her husband and family where she builds a life for herself with her son. Her life isn't what she expected but it brings her joy, happiness, sorrow and love. 

I truly enjoyed the story and the ending was most unexpected for me.



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