Bestselling author Beatriz Williams skillfully sets a story of love and sacrifice against the backdrop of war in her fascinating new novel, The Golden Hour.
In 1941, the island of Nassau, Bahamas, “is terrible for gossip,” recently widowed Lulu Randolph admits. “It’s the favorite pastime. Everybody seems to be knee-deep in each other’s dirty business.” As a society columnist for Metropolitan magazine in New York, Lulu is tasked with getting close to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (the former was once king of the United Kingdom and is now governor of the island), for whom Americans have “an insatiable appetite.” Using her journalistic skills and social etiquette, Lulu succeeds in befriending the duchess, Wallis Simpson.
As Lulu grows closer to the royal couple, who are long suspected of being Nazi sympathizers, she gleans deeper insights into their complex web of political, racial and financial intrigue. When real-life philanthropist Harry Oakes is found murdered on the island in 1943, the duke takes a particular interest in the case. Lulu, meanwhile, has fallen deeply in love with Benedict Thorpe, an English botanist and intelligence agent in the war. After Thorpe is captured by the Nazis and imprisoned in a German prison camp, Lulu journeys to London, determined to help regain his freedom.
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.