Fiction/Literature

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

Lifestyles of the rich and famous—during WWII.

The Golden Hour – 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?

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Original and fascinating. Lulu herself is an excellent creation, tough, smart, sexy, and ruthless… A fresh take on the WWII love story, with a narrator who practically demands Myrna Loy come back to life to play her in the movie.” (Kirkus (starred review))

 
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Lulu

December 1943 (London)

In the foyer of the Basil Hotel in Cadogan Gardens, atop the tea-colored wallpaper, a sign advises guests that blackout hours will be observed strictly. Another sign reminds us that enemy ears are listening. The wallpaper’s crowded with tiny orange flowers that seem to have started out life as pink, and they put me in mind of a story I once read about a woman who stares at the wallpaper in her room until she goes batty. Although that wallpaper was yellow, as I recall, so I may have some time to go.

I consult my watch. Three twenty-two.

Outside the windows, the air’s darkening fast. Some combination of coal smoke and December fog and the early hour at which the sun goes down at this latitude, as if the wallpaper and the signboards and the piles of rubble across the street aren’t enough to make you melancholy. I check the watch again—three twenty-three, impossible—and my gaze happens to catch that of the desk clerk. He’s examining me over the top of a rickety pair of reading glasses, because he hasn’t liked the look of me from the beginning. Why should he? A woman shows up at your London hotel in the middle of December, the middle of wartime, tanned skin, American accent, unmistakable scent of the foreign about her. She pays for her room in advance and carries only a small suitcase. Now she’s awaiting some no-good rendezvous, right in the middle of your dank, shabby, respectable foyer, and you ought to telephone the authorities, just to be on the safe side. In fact, you probably havetelephoned the authorities.

Read Synopsis

Synopsis

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 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.

About the Author

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.

 

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.

Recommended Books

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.

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

Expected on: 9 July 2019

AuthorBeatriz Williams

Genres: Romance novel, Historical Fiction, Historical romance

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