...the depiction of...postpartum depression is a particularly refreshing, albeit heart-wrenching, element of their story. With her trademark skill, the author adeptly draws the threads of...two story lines together, culminating in a surprising, emotionally satisfying conclusion. Williams’ latest...is moving, well-researched, and compulsively readable to the very last page.
From the opening chapter, the book brims with mystery and danger ... Lulu's Bahamas storyline acknowledges the American obsession with British royalty — but thankfully also delves into the not-so-glamorous politics of the times ... Although I enjoyed Williams's diligence in bringing Nassau's history to the page, I felt a bit shortchanged at times. I longed for a couple more scenes with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and some of the other historical characters. I also was distracted by some of the dialogue of the Bahamian supporting characters, which didn't read as authentically as some of the other voices ... All in all, however, the novel reminded me of fresh taffy. Warm, salty, a little bitter, and sweet — it pulls the reader in steadily without breaking apart. Elegant prose and imagery grace every page ... if a gin and tonic isn't on the menu, perhaps a trip to the beach with The Golden Hour in tow would do just fine.
...[a] long and complex tale ... with characters like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor strolling through the pages, readers will find it hard to set The Golden Hour aside ... Williams ties together the mysterious threads ... The Golden Hour runs short on action but long on everyday description ... Williams lightens the complexity here and there with humorous flashes.
... fascinating ... Williams alternates Lulu’s story with that of German baroness Elfriede von Kleist and her love affair with Wilfred Thorpe in the early 1900s, linking the generations together. Readers will be spellbound by Williams’ elegant prose, fascinating characters and unforgettable settings while fully engrossed by the novel’s dual plots.
Lulu and [Thorpe's mother] Elfriede's stories are built piece by piece, and while the plotting is a bit of a slow burn, Williams's deft hand with characterization and emotionally connective storytelling pays off for readers in big ways. Recommended.
The portrait of wartime Bermuda and the awful Windsors, observed and reported by Lulu, is original and fascinating. Lulu herself is an excellent creation, tough, smart, sexy, and ruthless. While the secondary Elfriede plot adds interesting complications to the historical puzzle, it doesn't have quite as much verve. 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.
The stories of two remarkable women a generation apart are cleverly intertwined in Williams’s sweeping family saga ... Williams...illuminates the story with exotic locales and bygone ambience, and seduces with the irresistible Windsors. Readers will appreciate the wartime espionage that keeps the suspense high.