“The Golden Hour” book review

June’s Book-of-the-Month pic, “Best of Summer” pic by PopSugar, Bookish, Southern Living & Bloomberg

World War II historic fiction is definitely my sweet spot, especially with strong female characters placed in mysterious and dangerous situations.

“The Golden Hour” focuses on two main characters between WWI and WWII.

Lulu Randolph is an American journalist for a New York magazine on assignment in Nassau to investigate the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Ever since the Duke abdicated his throne to marry Wallis Simpson, the American public is obsessed with British royalty. As Lulu inserts herself into their world, she discovers that beneath the glamour and power, lie treasonous secrets. And murder.

Amidst the glitter and privilege, Lula uncovers more than she bargained for.

Elfriede von Kleist has taken refuge in a Swiss hospital after the birth of her son and subsequent suicide attempt. After being there for two years, she meets a man who is recovering from a respiratory illness and they fall in love, despite the fact that Elfriede is married. Her connection to Lulu is gradually established as the story unfolds.

What I love about this book and author:

  • Well-researched with many actual events and a true-crime worked into the storyline
  • Williams is a passionate student of history (Standford grad, MBA from Columbia)
  • She writes books with Karen White and Lauren Willig
  • This summer Williams visited Litchfield Books & MJudson Booksellers to promote her book, which means she clearly supports independent bookstores
  • “The Golden Hour” takes place in a setting (the Bahamas) that is rarely covered in historic fiction

“As a passionate student of history, I’m never at a loss for inspiration. Sometimes I come across an intriguing nugget while researching another book; sometimes I feel a story surging around me when I visit a particular place. Newspaper articles, family tales, old letters, old movies, operas—all of them set my brain in motion. What intrigues me most about the past is not the grand historical event, however; it’s the people who existed inside that history, for whom it was their present reality. I want to immerse my readers in that experience, to set them down in another time and place and invite them to understand that world as a vital glass through which to understand our own. The truths I want to illuminate come from historical details, not historical events writ large; from human dramas, not from headlines. “

Beatriz Williams – beatrizwilliams.com

I completely enjoyed this absorbing story and I think you will too.

Happy Reading!

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