- Author Beatriz Williams
- Release Date July 9, 2019
- Publisher William Morrow
- ISBN/ASIN 978-0-06-283475-1
- Our Rating
- Reviewed by Abby Beal
If you are a fan of historical romances or historical fiction inspired by actual events, this is one you’re going to want to add to your “must-read” list! Set during the start of World War II, a young widowed American journalist, Leonora (Lulu) Thorpe ventures to the Bahamas to attempt to interview the Duchess of Windsor for a NYC magazine that is eager to learn more about the Duke & Duchess’s love story.
The Duke of Windsor gave up being the King of England because he fell in love with the woman who became his wife, the Duchess of Windsor. At the time, this was considered quite shocking, incredibly romantic, and so unthinkable that a man would do this.
Lulu has no promise of a story interviewing the Duchess of Windsor, but she is headstrong and independent-minded, so she ventures boldly to find her way. She discovers the best approach to connect with the Duchess and other society ladies is to do charity work. Lulu wisely researches the Duchess’s favorite charity on the island, the Red Cross, and once she is volunteering, receives a hand-delivered invitation to an event at the Duke and Duchess’s home in honor of the charity.
The Duchess is a very savvy woman and admits to Lulu that there has been some negative press, especially about the couple being frivolous with money during wartime. No one has mentioned any of their charity work or what they have done to help others. The Duchess makes Lulu a bargain: she will give her access to information but the Duchess wants news that shows the couple in a positive light. Lulu agrees to the arrangement.
This story mostly happens from 1941 through 1943. At the start of each chapter, you will see the name of the main character and the time period.
There are quite a few surprises in this novel, and I have no intention of spilling any of them! If you are a true romantic, then you will love discovering how the book is inspired to be titled THE GOLDEN HOUR. I was quite impressed with the thorough historical research that author Williams did, which is visible in daily activities, interactions with well-known people or fictional characters in different types of careers, the airplanes, and in the mindset that people feel during wartime to do whatever it takes to survive and to help their loved ones.
At the end of the book, Williams talks about what inspired this book, as well as some of her sources for research. If historical romance is one of your favorite genres, you will enjoy learning about how THE GOLDEN HOUR first began and may want to read some of these research books too.
One of my favorite things that Lulu says is “Wouldn’t miss it for diamonds!” when invited to a glamorous event. Now isn’t that the type of thing you would love to say? The characters are very interesting, and you learn more about them as the story goes on, even when you think you know them completely, which as a reader is a real delight because it keeps the pages turning. This author has written nine other books and I am eager to take a look at her other novels. I’m sure you will be too, after reading THE GOLDEN HOUR!