The Golden Hour

A Novel
Length: 16 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (431 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling 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’ 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. 

©2019 Beatriz Williams (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about The Golden Hour

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stick with it!

The #1 reason I bought this audio book was because of the narrators, two of my favorites Cassandra Campbell and Saskia Maarleveld. It took me a little while to get into the book, mainly because I was frustrated by the two very different story lines . I couldn't see where or how they were connected, so it made the beginning difficult. I am glad I stuck with it, because you slowly begin to realize what connects the two, and I couldn't wait to figure out how their stories ended up. I ended up loving it, and it became one of those books that you couldn't wait for your commute so you could see what happens next, Admittedly I was more interested in the Elfriede part of the story...she was who I viewed as the heroin, whereas Lulu turned out ok, but truly she was a spoiled little rich girl who made bad decisions. You will not regret using a credit on this book, the narrators do a great job, and the story will tug on your heart strings, definitely one of my favorites of the year.

22 people found this helpful

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Loose threads

Loose threads, why? You have to listen to the entire book and while it nags at you you finally get to the epilogue to find out that the characters appear in earlier books by the author. It’s not a stand alone.
Had I known that if it had been in the book notes I’d have started with an earlier book.
The narrative is fabulous.

8 people found this helpful

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20 stars to this reader

intriguing story but sometimes difficult follow because of the switches between years, individuals and locations. but I have to say this is the one of the best readers ever. even her diction seemed completely appropriate to the period.

3 people found this helpful

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Spectacular

The story is beautiful, sweeping, complex but not confusing, original. I usually can’t stand romantic story lines but these were breathtaking in their intensity and realism.

The narration was expert (Cassandra Campbell) of course. The accents were like a 9 out of 10 and there were MANY different ones. I didn’t cringe once!

Overall, this will be one I remember. I realize defining something as a classic is subjective but for me, this would be in my top 20. Mind you I listen to at least ten a month for many years. You won’t regret it. At least if you are like me!

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful!

Beatrice opens a door of history that I knew so little so marvelous and beautiful!

2 people found this helpful

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What a Wonderful Book

I absolutely loved this book. It had me from the beginning, both story and narration. Cassandra Campbell is a favorite and Saskia Maarleveld was great too. Loved the characters, the language and the settings. Highly recommend!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Loved the narration!

The narration really makes or break an audio book. This narration is terrific, loved it!
It really brings the book to life. I was sorry to see it end, I feel invested in the characters!

1 person found this helpful

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Not good

Boring, not very interesting. Maybe it was the person talking. To detailed. Not good. Sorry

3 people found this helpful

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Weak writing, flat and annoying main character.

The narrators are the best part. I am a big fan of historical fiction but the characters were completely flat and unlikable.

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Williams Wakes the Curiosity

Every time I read a Beatriz Williams’ book, I’m left hungry for more. Each book tends to lead me into several months of researching the topics further. I really appreciate the references she provides. I would love to spend time in her library.

Interesting book with great narration.