Найдите свой следующий любимый аудиокнига

Станьте участником сегодня и слушайте бесплатно в течение 30 дней
The Golden Hour: A Novel

The Golden Hour: A Novel

Написано Beatriz Williams

Озвучено Cassandra Campbell и Saskia Maarleveld


The Golden Hour: A Novel

Написано Beatriz Williams

Озвучено Cassandra Campbell и Saskia Maarleveld

оценки:
4/5 (40 оценки)
Длина:
16 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jul 9, 2019
ISBN:
9780062930255
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

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 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 cover-up 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.

The stories of two unforgettable women thread together in this 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.

Издатель:
Издано:
Jul 9, 2019
ISBN:
9780062930255
Формат:
Аудиокнига


Об авторе

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz Williams spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons, before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore.

Связано с The Golden Hour

Похоже на «Аудиокниги»

Обзоры

Что люди думают о The Golden Hour

3.8
40 оценки / 21 Обзоры
Ваше мнение?
Рейтинг: 0 из 5 звезд

Отзывы читателей

  • (4/5)
    What were the Duke and Duchess of Windsor up to in the Bahamas in the 1940s? It's anyone's guess, but their activities certainly generated plenty of gossip, which in this novel is faithfully reported by Lulu, an American gossip columnist stations in Nassau during WWII. While covering the Windsors, Lulu encounters and falls in love with Thorpe, a British man with connections to the intelligence community. As the story of Lulu and Thorpe unfolds, war and family history each play a part in keeping apart and bringing together these lovers. Overall, this novel made for an enjoyable read and I'd highly recommend it to those interested in this era.
  • (4/5)
    Although the book takes place in a couple of locations, it's the Nassau story that really captured my attention and how it lead to the other sections. Journalist Lenora (Lulu) Randolph is sent to Nassau in 1941 to report a society column for Metropolitan magazine--Americans are hungry for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor who are appointed there the war. The heat, the glamour, the drinking, the Red Cross, Lulu has her hands full until she finally receives the all important invite to the Governor's House and a deal with the Duchess is hatched. Crossing paths with Thorpe, a man from the airplane, continues to add more mystery to this historical tale. Elfriede's sections shine an interesting light on post-partum depression, so debilitating but handled so poorly in the early 1900's.
  • (3/5)
    The stories of Lulu and Elfriede and their Thorpe men. Stories told from different places and at different times in history, “surprising” interconnectedness at the end, a lead character I mostly didn’t care for, The Golden Hour was definitely not my favorite.I enjoy a good historical fiction, but this was, as I’m calling it, historical fiction lite crosses with harlequin lite, all tied up in a red bow. This books reads like a book written by somebody who writes a ton of historical fiction, and was assigned a new time to write about and not inspired from an infatuation or obsession with the time periods to begin with. Given all the praise I certainly hope that Summer Wives is better than this.
  • (2/5)
    Lulu, a gossip columnist, travels to Nassau, to write stories about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. She quickly becomes a favorite of the Duchess, after making an agreement to write only positive stories about the couple. I'm not sure what to say about this book. It was extremely slow moving and all of the action took place off stage. The clandestine activities, and murder were dealt with in such a small and insignificant manner. Most of the book was Lulu drinking and going out with Thrope, her romantic interest. Overall, a huge waste.
  • (3/5)
    Lulu is a gossip columnist and she, like most everyone else wants to know what the Duke and Duchess of Windsor are up to in the Bahamas. History tells us that they have been sent there to give Edward a purpose and to get him away from the rest of the Windsors after his abdication. But what purpose are they really serving?Lulu does not find out but she has a lot of fun trying as she goes out drinking with her love and other friends. But there is more going on as her love disappears and she finds out things about him that perhaps she might not want to know but Nassau always remains golden.Not my favorite book by the author.
  • (3/5)
    This novel is about two women Elfriede von Kleist and Lulu Randolph whose stories are separated by forty years and joined by a thread at the end of the novelWhen the novel opens Lulu Randolph, a twenty-five year old journalist with a New York magazine owned by her father, is in Nassau looking for her big break. The Duke of Windsor, with his duchess, is the governor of the Bahamas. Lulu wants to break into their inner circle so she can write a juicy gossip column about the Windsors and their society buddies. She tries to act the cigarette smoking, whiskey drinking (one of her main sources is a bartender) journalist while still presenting the image of a post debutante. She enjoys life in the tropics and her $200 a week salary but feels the urge to do some reporting on more serious subjects. When Wallis Simpson Windsor befriends Lulu in the hope that the reporter can polish her tarnished image, Lulu’s life becomes a whirl of parties and charity work as she faithfully records the duchess’s public persona of caring for the British Crown’s subjects. She also meets a charming English botanist who may be more than he seems.Elfriede ‘s life is a 180 turn turn from Lulu’s. In 1900, the twenty-two year old German baroness has been in a Swiss asylum for two years. After her son was born she became severely depressed and the family sent her away to be “cured” or maybe not. The asylum, for very wealthy patients, was run like a fine hotel so there was really no incentive for the von Kleist family to welcome back the young mother who was being treated so well. Elfriede does not do much to counteract her situation until she falls deeply in love with a fellow patient, a charming Englishman recovering from a severe accident. Since Elfriede respected and admired, rather than loved, her much older husband, her feelings for Wilfred Thorpe were entirely new to her. This soulmate love continues after she is recalled home due to a crisis and for years afterward. She remains true to those she loves, not just Wilfred but others as well. It is the driving force in her life.The book blurb teases the Windsor angle. However, very little is done with their story. The Duke may be passing on information to a German agent or not. A messy murder is touched on and not really explored. Who was the bartender really and why did he vanish? And what does Benedict the botonist find? For all the time spent in Nassau the final actions seem rushed. And the link between Elfriede’s and Lulu’s story is almost a deus ex machine with the introduction of a savior in the form of a character last seen as a child. I did enjoy reading the novel. I just wish it were two books with more plot added to the character studies.
  • (3/5)
    Good phrases and insights throughout; hallmarks of good writing. The well-placed observation. I had a hard time getting a handle on Lulu; her time before coming to the Bahamas. I think that could have been sharper and the info revealed a little earlier. When it is though, things are at first surprising then shocking. Lulu is one cold, calculating person.For me it was hard to figure how the two timelines would join up. When they finally did it was pretty much the end of the book. It’s satisfying, but a bit of a stretch. I felt the romance angle was played a bit too hard - there is a lot of sex and a lot of longing and pining. It made for a prolonged story that blunted the more dire elements of the plot.Most of that revolves around the ex-King of England and his wife Wallis. Characterized as the most romantic relationship on earth, Williams portrays them as more practical and disappointed in their calculations. I know very little about them or if they really were Nazi sympathizers and arranged Sir Harry Oakes’s death, but that’s very much implied here. And since that crime hasn’t been solved to this day, and that the Duke never held another post for the government, maybe it’s true. Maybe he was just incompetent. Either way it was a nice device to weave a plot around. I don’t read a lot of WWII fiction and I’m glad I made an exception for this although I think it could have used some trimming.
  • (4/5)
    3.5 starsI 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 stories together. We first meet Elfriede in a Swiss clinic where she was sent after she can't feel anything for her newborn and talks about a darkness that dwells in her. Today we would call it postpartum depression but in the early 1900s, no one quite knows what to do with her. There she meets an Englishman recouping from pneumonia and they have a soulmates connection but with Elfriede still married, they can't really act on anything.The other woman we follow is Lulu in 1941 just as she is arriving in the Bahamas to cover gossip about the scandalous Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Edward and Wallis Simpson. There she gets caught up in possible treasonous acts and meets Benedict Thorpe, a man she thinks is more than he is letting on.It's so easy and so safe to fall in love when the universe is against you.While Elfriede's story is relayed from the beginning, chronologically, we start more towards the end with Lulu's story and are constantly backtracking and shooting forward to gain information on how she ends up in London with Benedict's sister, which is where we first meet her and the mysterious government agent, Mr. B. The pov changes also include first person and third person different narratives; it works to keep the two women drivers of their own stories but I can see how this could affect the flow of the story for some.While Lulu and Elfriede are fictional characters, they are surrounded by real events and real historical figures of their times. World War I plays a part in Elfriede's story, affecting her life's course and World War II obviously plays a big part in Lulu's story. For the most part though, the gravitas of the Wars are kept to the outside, Pearl Harbor is discussed but being in the Bahamas during the time and lack of Internet keeps the news to feeling surreal. The focus is more microcosm and how the Wars are personally affecting these two women and how it will connect them.I thought it was intriguing how the author made the Windsors, somewhat, central and key, along with the real murder mystery of Henry Oakes; little moments in history that aren't completely solved are fun to read different takes on.“Life is made up of these little crossroads, after all,” he said. “A million daily forks in the road.”The slow weaving of Elfriede and Lulu may feel meandering for a while, I thought the latter half started to drag a bit but it was still curiously interesting to see how the author ultimately ended up placing all the characters to culminate in the ending. The ending was rushed and key emotional moments were crammed, taking away from the reader from getting time to digest and deliver a bigger impact on key moments. However, if looking to disappear for a few hours, The Golden Hour will keep you intrigued about how all these characters touch and impact each other's lives and how it could feel so helpless and hopeful all at the same time during World War I and II.
  • (4/5)
    indy's review Jun 29, 2019 · editreally liked itbookshelves: librarything-giveaways 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 and and an unsolved murder. I may boost this book up to 4 stars.
  • (3/5)
    Lulu is sent to the Bahamas to learn more about Edward and Wallis, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Lulu ends up investigating a murder which takes her to London. This leads her down a path of espionage and and crime she never expected.
This is not my favorite Beatriz Williams book. This story starts slow and I stayed confused during most of it. It is told in two voices, Lulu and Elfriede. And Elfriede's tale is the one that kept me reading this book. Her part of this novel is a better story than Lulu's. I found the characters a little flat and I felt like I didn't know enough about them. They sort of do things "out of character". And as I was reading, I was questioning. "What the devil did I miss!?"
I did enjoy the historical aspect. It is very well researched. All of her novels are! This story just left me confused and a little bored. But, if you have not read Beatriz, I would start with one of her other books and pick this one up later.
  • (4/5)
    A special thank you to Edelweiss, William Morrow, and HarperCollins Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.Budding journalist Lulu travels to the Bahamas in 1941 to investigate the Duke of Windsor—the former King Edward VIII—and his wife, whose love affair caused the Duke to abdicate the British throne. Her assignment becomes complicated when the Duke's shady politics become apparent and when she falls in love with Thorpe, a scientist, who disappears without a trace.From the opening chapter, Beatriz Williams captivates her reader. This sweeping novel is beautifully written with elements of mystery and intrigue. She effortlessly weaves together dual plot lines each richly crafted with meticulous details. Williams is one of those authors whose writing completely transcends with her elegant and awe-inspiring prose. The difference between four and five stars was simply because I wanted more scenes with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and more from the other historical cast. Is that even a criticism, wanting more? Give this slow burn a read, you will not be disappointed.
  • (5/5)
    I was fortunate to receive an Advanced Readers Edition through Library Thing and the publisher William Morrow.I am a dedicated fan of Beatriz Williams' writing and The Golden Hour can be named as one of my favorites by this author. Like other novels there is romance, mystery, and a backdrop of true events in history.Lulu and Elfriede are the heroines of the book. Elfriede is a married German woman who falls in love with an Englishman. Lulu is an American widow who falls in love with Elfriede's son. Both English men serve their country: Wilfred during World War I, Benedict during World War II. My favorite backdrop is Lulu's story since it's set in the beautiful Bahamas. Lulu writes a gossip column focusing on the famous residents of Nassau - The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson.I highly recommend this novel.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed the two different storylines, but at some point I started to wonder where they were headed, and how they would connect. And then in the last 50 pages, it all came together and made sense. Even if it hadn't, this is a well-written, interesting story.
  • (4/5)
    The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Bahamas 1941, sun, romance, and a great job as Journalist Lulu Randolph arrives to give a glamorous bit of copy to a Society magazine while she gets closer to the fascinating couple. Lulu finds that familiarity to the Golden ones brings more than she bargained for, as the edges of war time, unfortunate political connections, spies, and whispers of treachery arise during a time when the Young journalist must consider where her loyalties truly lie. Both time an place emerge as key characters in this revolving tale which layers the story effectively for the reader.
  • (4/5)
    Thank you to Harper Collins for the ARC of The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams. I've read and enjoyed a few of Ms. William's previous novels and this one did not disappoint. In fact, I think it might be my favorite to date.The novel takes place in the Bahamas in the early 1940s and in Europe during World War I. The author does an exceptional job of entwining the stories of the protagonists Lulu Randolph and Elfreide von Kleist during the two wars. Throw in the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, espionage and murder and the result is a truly engaging and captivating novel that is hard to put down. The characters are well developed and the author's descriptions of the different settings are so vivid and detailed that you actually can feel yourself there. A perfect summer read!
  • (5/5)
    This is a lovely read, a dessert of a book.I have read several of Beatriz Williams' books, and she was on my must read list after the first one. Her writing is sincere, flowing, smooth, wonderful. This book is certainly no exception.It had me loving the protagonist after the first page. I loved several people before this book was done. The situations and the surroundings are so well described that you feel you actually packed your suitcase and went there. The characters are people you talk to after you close the book (finally) to go to sleep. I love the style it is written in, with two voices sharing chapters, one after the other.I learned historical things reading the book as well as enjoying the read. There was romance, intrigue, heartache, an urgency to hurry and see what was going to happen next as well as a need to slow it down and read every nuance of every sentence.Loved it...as will you.My copy was provided to me by Librarything.com and the publisher and for that I thank them.
  • (3/5)
    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't done. When the same thing keeps happening to the characters, it gets a little redundant. I wanted to know what happened, but felt Williams took WAY too long to wrap things up. I also found some of the characters' actions to be unusual, in that they were a bit contrived. Lulu is sarcastic and flip, yet falls rapturously in love in the blink of an eye. What did I miss? Elfriede...same...and then she travels halfway around the world, after children that aren't hers. It was as if Williams expected us to know more about her characters, as if I missed reading a prequel. It's a good story, just could've used some editing. And one last quibble - the use of the "f" word seemed contrived and out of place. I love a good curse word, and don't mind reading them, but these "f" seemed only for shock value.
  • (3/5)
    This reminded me a lot of early Richard Russo, who does small towns, and fish out of water very well.Interesting story of a man coming to terms with himself, his life, his faults and fears. Along the way, he learns more about himself and steps outside of his comfort zone to find a new life. Throw in becoming a volunteer firefighter, a small town in upstate New York (characters welcome), a divorce and trying to figure out who the paramour of his ex was, and the tale gains depth and amusement.
  • (3/5)
    Lulu is a gossip columnist and she, like most everyone else wants to know what the Duke and Duchess of Windsor are up to in the Bahamas. History tells us that they have been sent there to give Edward a purpose and to get him away from the rest of the Windsors after his abdication. But what purpose are they really serving?Lulu does not find out but she has a lot of fun trying as she goes out drinking with her love and other friends. But there is more going on as her love disappears and she finds out things about him that perhaps she might not want to know but Nassau always remains golden.Not my favorite book by the author.
  • (5/5)
    Intriguing historical fiction about some events that I knew nothing about.
  • (3/5)
    The book although well written with beautiful characters and prose was hard to follow with three different timelines and slow moving plots. This isn't a very happy book. It's filled with sorrow overshadowing the romances that I did enjoy in this book.