Cover Image: The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour

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Member Reviews

The main character of this novel, Wyn, is struggling in so many ways - a struggling artist, struggling with her marriage as she and her husband have separated, and most of all, struggling with the fact that the man in prison for attacking her when she is 13 may be granted a retrial and she may have to testify about what really happened that day. So when her friend offers her to go stay and help her fix up a long abandoned house on an island off of Maine, she jumps at the chance - but finds other mysteries and problems there. This book is sooo sad, but very well-written with characters who come to life. I found the end rather abrupt though. 3.75 stars.
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I'll readily admit that the reason for choosing this novel was the stunning cover.  Then, when I realized that it was largely set on an island in Maine, the decision was made.

Wyn Davies is a thirty-three year-old artist. She works on commission to bring in some much needed funds.  She lives in one side of a duplex, with her husband Gus living on the other side.  They have separated.  Not because she doesn't love him dearly, but because he has said she has 'sold out' by abandoning her art and taking commissions painting birch trees. Their four-year-old daughter, Avery, goes back and forth between the two halves of the house.

"How do you stay with someone who thinks you have sold your soul?"

"A good lie can become the truth".

Wyn has lots of personal baggage. When she was just thirteen years old she was raped and very nearly killed in the woods behind her childhood home in New Hampshire. Her schoolmate, Robert Rousseau confessed to the crime and has been in prison for the past twenty years. Now... new evidence has been discovered which could exonerate Rousseau. Always fearful, Wyn lives her life in the limbo between truth and lies. Her parents, her best friend Pilar, and her husband Gus, do NOT know the truth of what happened to Wyn in the woods that day.

"I hated myself around Gus. I deplored who I had become. And isn't that why we split up in the first place? It was like he'd turned a mirror and made me look at exactly who I was now."

Unable to tolerate the growing chasm between her and Gus, Wyn takes Pilar up on her offer of staying at her house in Maine for the winter. Pilar had bought it sight unseen. The house, which has been unoccupied for years, is located on the remote Bluff's Island.  Upon arrival, Wyn and Avery find the house is ramshackle and in much need of serious repair. While in the basement trying to start the ancient furnace, Wyn notices a recessed area in the earthen wall containing a shoebox labelled "Epitaphs and Prophecies". The shoebox is filled with undeveloped film canisters. 

"I felt a strange sense of responsibilty. I had somehow become the unofficial curator of this photographer's work. It was daunting."

Curiosity leads Wyn to develop some of the film. The photos reveal a young woman with a young child. Photos of the house she is living in...

Wyn and Avery pass the early winter days trolling the beach for sea glass. Avery seems to be adapting well to the move, but at night she has reverted to wetting the bed. Wyn wonders if she did the right thing moving here - away from Gus.

Then... Wyn begins getting threatening messages...... and the re-opening of the Rousseau case looms.

The title references that special time of day, before sunset, during which daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky. Painting during that spectacular time of day known as the “golden hour”, when light is at its best.

The first two-thirds of this novel had me absolutely riveted.  I liked Wyn, her tiny daughter Avery, and the atmospheric house on Bluff's Island. I was curious and compelled to learn more about the mysterious woman who took the photos and how they would influence Wyn's life.

I felt that the last third of the book let me down. Although there was a resolution of sorts for Wyn's personal life, other aspects of the plot were not resolved to my satisfaction. As a result, my overall feelings for this novel suffered, along with my rating score.

Would I read another book by this author? Absolutely!  Would I recommend this one? Yes, with some reservations.
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The way the truth is going out. The power of light and shadows.

20 years ago, 13-year-old Wyn has become a victim of the horrible crime in the woods. Now, there is a possibility that her rapist can get a retrial.
Wyn, still living (at least partly) in the shadows of that woods, is torn. Accepting an offer of her best friend to go to her new remote house for a time to paint and recover there seems a good idea. So Wyn packs a few things and her 4-year-old daughter with reluctant agreement of her estranged husband and goes to the shackle, both romantic and almost in ruins. Wyn finds here some undeveloped photo films from some 30 years ago, showing some hidden artistic shots.
Can the art free you? Can the truth? Because what is known about the crime in the woods is not the truth, only the truth and the whole truth.

Interesting read. 
I get Wyn. Her guilt, her pain, her fear and her decisions. I get her snaps at her husband and her choices of safety over the risk. Probably I would behave the same, let's be realistic here. She is trying hard to bounce back, yet she is still captive in the woods. The woods still have power over her. And it is a high time to open up (even if the process is painful, so painful).

Having said that, I must say that as much as I get Wyn, that I don't get the woman in the island house, the photographer one. Her story wants to be both dark and beautifully truthful, but it is just an emotional blackmailing, so to say, as there is no real meaning there, no "morale of the story" connecting her story to Wyn's. Wyn could read for example some Shakespeare to get the same results. 

But still. I can't help for Wyn to win - her husband back, her art back, her self back as a whole. 
And for this connection alone you should read this book. It is not a small accomplishment, to get related to the hero/heroine living in the pages of a novel. 
And kudos for put a light on the difficulties and strength of the sexual attack survivors!
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Wyn Davies is struggling with a lot of things, like a lot of artists, like a lot of young mothers, like a lot of victims of rape. Hello? What was that last one?

As a 13-yo girl, she took a shortcut through the woods and was attacked and raped. Her rather strange, 13-yo classmate was found guilty and has been in jail for the last 20 years, but now some do-gooder organisation has decided to lobby for a retrial and ask for DNA evidence.

Wyn freaks out. She’s a painter, as is Gus, her slightly estranged (but not strange) husband and father of their cute 4-yo daughter, Avery. 

Wyn has limited herself to painting for her Etsy shop and craft fairs - ”quirky birches, the frazzled skittish sky. . . thick white branches, steady limbs . . . A painting you could just as easily hang in a child’s room as a dentist’s office. The kind of painting you buy to match your sofa or blinds.”

In other words (Gus’s words), she’s sold out for the income. He’s a signwriter by day but he paints his real stuff in his own time. She just doesn’t have an 'own' time. So they kind of split up, living in two halves of an old duplex, with Avery darting back and forth. 

Meanwhile, her best friend, Pilar, is becoming an acclaimed painter, which is great, but then Pilar doesn’t have a family to support, does she? 

When Wyn gets a threatening phone call about the past attack, that does it. She tells nobody, but she accepts Pilar’s offer to take a break and clear her head in an old ramshackle house Pilar owns on an island off the coast of Maine. She tells Gus she just wants to get away for a while, but he’s not happy about it, and both are obviously conflicted about the “break-up”. 

She finally tells him about the possible retrial of her attacker, and he is furious and worried about her. 

”He stooped down to my height, clutched my elbows in his hands.

And suddenly I was eighteen years old again, peering up into his sweet face, the black freckle below his eye making it impossible to do anything but love him.”

See? Conflicted. 

She convinces him to let her take Avery, she visits her parents along the way, finds the ramshackle house in worse condition than Pilar remembered, and Avery suddenly starts wetting the bed. She discovers hidden rolls of film in the house, meets the strange couple next door, freaks out when she’s contacted again, and so it goes.

We see flashbacks to the incident intermittently between chapters of story, until finally the flashbacks and today merge at the end. The second story about the photographs seems unnecessary. Perhaps romance and chick lit fans will enjoy this more than I did. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the preview copy from which I’ve quoted (so quotes may have changed).
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Another lovely book by this author.  Finding the truth can be difficult but what a story! Loved Wyn, and all the characters. Best one yet!
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Between childhood and adulthood. Between truth and lies. This is the thing about a lie; over time, it not only obscures the truth but consumes it. Those who pursue veracity (those do-gooders seekers) see truth not as an abstract thing but something concrete. Strong, vivid, with an unassailable right to prevail. But those who fight for it, who fight in the name of it, do not understand that truth is anemic, weak. Especially in the hands of an accomplished liar. Especially over years. A lie, in collusion with time, can overpower the truth. A good lie has the power to subsume reality. A good lie can become the truth. The Golden Hour is that magical hour that comes before dusk...where all things come to light. 

I have to admit I was somewhat frustrated with this read until I got it. I think that is the genius of it. Greenwood is an accomplished writer. She has a way with words that she can take something ordinary and with words make it extraordinary. 

Wynn Davis is running from the truth of what happened to her 13 year old self. She is now married, separated from her husband, both living in the same duplex sharing their daughter Avery. The pain of long ago comes crashing back into her life when a boy from her past now a man is up for a new trial. Thru most of her running (maybe therein lies my frustration, I was getting worn out) from her marriage and past, she ends up in Maine, in a house that has been abandoned for years and finds photographs that tell of a haunted woman and her secrets.

Without giving to much away, it is finding the truth about the mysterious woman that she finds the courage to face the truth that she has been running from. It is only then she can face her truth without fear. 

A Special Thank You to Kensington and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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Wyn Davies lives in New Hampshire with her 4 year old daughter and is separated from her husband.  She earns a living as an artist but feels that she is selling herself out by just painting pictures that will sell - but her life is in turmoil at the time because someone who committed a terrible crime against her 20 years ago is about to be released from prison

When a friend offers her the use of a house on a island in Maine she jumps at the chance to run away - but can she really run away and will she have to face up to what happened to her when she was 13 and finally tell the full story

A good story which I mainly enjoyed but was a bit disappointed with the ending
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Having read and loved Where I Lost Her, I was ever so excited to be granted an eARC of The Golden Hour. 

I have to admit: this story has a bit of a "slow burn" aspect to it and you need to be prepared to be patient (at least, that was my experience). The narrative is a rather solid one; its pacing is just a little slower and stretched out a little more than I usually prefer. 

However, much as I imagine an artist of a visual medium transforming her canvas and telling a story through the meticulous decisions she makes with each purposeful brush stroke (I mean, I'm assuming. I'm not even remotely artistic in that way, whatsoever, so...), T. Greenwood has painstakingly crafted a flawed, complex main character. 

At times, I found myself identifying with Wyn and at other times, I thought, "How is this a thing? This doesn't have to be the problem that you're making it out to be." She wasn't always likable, but she was definitely believable. 

While I don't think that she was irreparably "broken" or "damaged", I do think that Wyn was somewhat lost, conjuring the image of a passenger on boat that is being battered around by the waves without any sight of the shore - desperately needing a solid place to stand where she can be sure of her footing and feel safe. Honestly, she seemed to be a character who couldn't get out of her own way and who created problems for herself where none need exist, yet who clearly believed, at the time, that she was doing what was necessary. 

Really, though, that's true of all of us, at any given moment - we're all just trying to figure out what the next right move is and keep it all together, with varying degrees of success. 

"...the funny thing about the truth is, it always seems to have a way of getting free." (Loc. 3637)

What, at first, might be thought of as running away from the inevitable

"This is the thing about a lie: over time, it not only obscures the truth but consumes it. Those who pursue veracity (those do-gooders, those seekers) see truth not as an abstract thing but something concrete. Strong, vivid, with an unassailable right to prevail. But those who fight for it, who fight in the name of it, do not understand that truth is anemic, weak. Especially in the hands of an accomplished liar. Especially over years. A lie, in collusion with time, can overpower the truth. A good lie has the power to subsume reality. A good lie can become the truth." (Loc. 3622)

does actually lead to realizations and growth that might not have occurred, otherwise. 

"However, lies are also precarious things. I picture my own like the shimmery filaments of a web. The truth is that fat insect ensnared in the delicate strands, imprisoned, struggling to break free. Each twist and turn, each flutter of wing, each protest threatening to tear the intricate construction apart." (Loc. 3627)

The Golden Hour realistically reflects the ambiguity that accompanies many situations in our lives. We no doubt want everything to be OK in the end, but it is often far from a foregone conclusion. Just as life rarely - if ever - fits into neat little boxes, T. Greenwood leaves room for the unknown. While I was left with the feeling that everything would work out for Wyn, the not knowing for sure was a little frustrating, because of the sense of emotional investment that this highly gifted author elicits from her readers. 

Dear T. Greenwood: 

Can a book nerd get a little closure?!
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The Golden Hour is a new novel by T. Greenwood.  Wyn Davies is a struggling artist is in her early thirties and lives in Queens, New York.  Wyn lives in one half of a duplex while her husband, Gus lives on the other side.  The pair split recently over a silly disagreement.  Their daughter, Avery lives with Wyn during the week and Gus on the weekends.  Wyn is an artist who has been busy making commissioned birch tree paintings that go with her client’s rooms.  Gus feels that Wyn has sold out (at least she is earning money).  Wyn finds out that Robby Rousseau might get a new trial.  The Innocence Project has gotten involved in Robby’s case and they are testing the DNA from the case. The DNA was never tested because they had a confession. Wyn has never told anyone the truth about what happened that day twenty years ago in Haven, New Hampshire.  When she receives a threatening phone call, it spurs Wyn to flee.  She takes her friend, Pilar up on her offer to spend the winter in her home on Bluffs Island in Maine.  Avery and Wyn head up to Bluffs Island.  It can only be reached by ferry and there is no Wi-Fi service.  It sounds perfect to Wyn.  In the basement, Wyn discovers a box labeled “Epitaphs and Prophecies”.  The box is full of undeveloped film rolls. The rolls are labeled with dates starting with 07/12/76.  Wyn is intrigued and sends off two rolls to get developed (a friend develops the rest later).  The film belonged to the former owner who disappeared thirty-five years ago.  The pictures are unusual and Wyn gets a glimpse of her life.  Wyn wants to find out more about this woman and starts seeking answers.  Will the answers Wyn seeks help her with her own life?  What happened to Wyn twenty years ago?   

The Golden Hour is an odd novel.  It sounded like a good mystery/suspense novel, but the execution was severely lacking.  Wyn is a hard character to like.  I know she suffered a horrible trauma, and I believe she could benefit from therapy.  Her character reminds me of a person who might have a mental health problem.  Wyn smokes pot (more than once when children are nearby), drinks, has trouble communicating (especially with her husband), pushes everyone away, prefers to flee than deal with life, jealous of her best friend’s success and lacks some common sense.  Wyn goes to a house that has been deserted for thirty-five years with her four-year-old daughter (would you take a child to this house).  I would make sure to arrive in daylight so I can what needs to be done.  I am sure that the house would be dilapidated and filthy.  Wyn has no idea how to turn light a pilot light for the heat and imagines there is a master switch (not on a system that old).  She does not bring in the clothes from the car before falling asleep (guess what they need in the middle of the night).  Wyn also fails to bring needed cleaning supplies (despite being told about the lack of shops and supplies in the “town”).  Wyn seems more concerned about her needs than those of her daughter.  In a way, I wish the author had not included a child in the story.  I found some inconsistencies regarding the legal case.  A thirteen-year-old boy confessed to the crime and then goes to trial.  He gets a lengthy sentence and is still in jail twenty years later.  Normally, if the perpetrator confesses, there is no trial.  It would go to sentencing.  Also, why would a juvenile still be in jail after the age of 18 (or at the latest 21).  I am curious how he was convicted if Wyn did not testify and the DNA evidence was never tested. The incident that happened to Wyn is slowly revealed over the course of the novel.  Most readers will be able to figure it out long before all the information is revealed.  I give The Golden Hour 2 out of 5 stars (I did not enjoy it).  I found the pace to be slow (good if you wish to go to sleep) and the pictures described are unusual (downright strange and inappropriate).  I thought the novel to be dark and the ending disappointing.  What happened regarding the prior owner is very upsetting and disturbing.  I was just not drawn into this book.  I kept hoping it would get better, but it did not.  The Golden Hour was not the right novel for me.
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I am clearly in the minority here with The Golden Hour.  I have read T. Greenwood before and have thoroughly enjoyed her books.  However, I just could not get into this one.  I felt like everything was so obvious, there was entirely too much time spent on describing Wyn painting and quite frankly, Wyn was just down right whiney.  

I was disappointed by The Golden Hour and wish I would have enjoyed it more.
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I knew as soon as I started reading this book I would enjoy it.  T. Greenwood uses colour to describe feelings and thoughts in the first chapter and I was hooked! Art, like music can be a healer and I felt this was the theme for this story. Beautiful writing and characters I could warm too made this read unforgettable.

Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read this amazing story.
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Master storyteller T. Greenwood returns following (2016) Where I Lost Her — my Top 50 Books of 2016 with her latest masterpiece, THE GOLDEN HOUR, another gripping spellbinding suspense page-turner and complex tale of family secrets.

With finesse, a skillful blending of symbolism, metaphors, and artistry; equally, character and plot-driven, a mix of literary, historical and women’s fiction; mystery, suspense, and psychological thriller, rolled into one. 

THE GOLDEN HOUR is a compelling saga with dual storylines. Greenwood ensnares you from the first page to the finale. She weaves deftly between past and present with highly charged topics. A story of friendship, lies, and dark secrets. As usual, with Greenwood’s own signature lyrical style, she uses vivid mysterious settings, strong elements of nature, and the power of art. 

Wyn is a wife and mother and yet she struggles with a tragic event when she was thirteen years old. The day in the woods in New Hampshire. Her life changed. No one knows the truth about what happened. She has kept silent. Someone’s secret and her own. 

Now she paints birches. (“woods” and forest, also another reference throughout the book). Living in Queens in a duplex, Wyn, is a mother to four-year-old daughter, Avery. Next door on the other side of the duplex— is her husband (ex), Gus. 

She is an artist. However, she is not painting what she loves. She has turned to painting "quirky birches"(trees) to match her clients home décor. Boring, yet she was grateful for the work and the commission jobs in order to take care of the bills.

Gus is a good father, (they still love one another), and in order to share custody and keep the bills down, they are living next door to one another. He is a free-spirt and owns a sign shop. An artist as well. 

Wyn knows this living arrangement cannot last forever, being this close to one another. He had inherited it from his grandmother and when the tenant moved out on the other side, Wyn moved on the other side of the wall. 

She realizes something must change. Even though they were not legally divorced, or even separated for that matter. He wanted Wyn to focus on real painting and not the stupid birches. She was thirty-three years old and would not go back to working at a bar. This would have to do for now. They had split up over the stupid tree paintings. (among other things). This was the last straw. 

She is feeling particularly uneasy. She has just received the news: Robert J. Rousseau. He was charged with rape years ago. A local activist solicits help from New Hampshire Innocence Project (a former social worker), who insists he was falsely accused —in the 1996 crime. 

Now twenty years later, she must re-live the nightmare. They want to test for DNA. Back then, he confessed. He was never supposed to get out. He was supposed to rot in prison. That is what the New Hampshire family lawyer had promised. Her entire world was shattered. Back then and now once again. 

Had she sold her soul back then, to the devil? She was a young scared girl. Now, a scared woman.

Her mom, dad, brother, friends and Gus are worried about her. The media is hovering. She wants to escape. She cannot allow this to happen. Then she begins receiving sick phone calls and emails, threatening her and her family. The caller is a man and says he knows she has a little girl. She had to get away. Gus does not know the real truth. 

In the meantime, while she is in denial, her friend Pilar, had left her a message about joining her in Maine. She decides this may be a way to hide out. She and Pilar have been friends for years and in college, as well as Gus. They all attended art school together at Rhode Island School of Design fifteen years earlier. 

While Wyn had resigned herself to painting those happy birches and Gus used his skills to make metal signs, Pilar’s career had moved at a steady pace and then the following year a collector fell in love with her work, and suddenly she was an artist with a capital A. The NYT had featured a showing at a gallery and all changed for her. Has Pilar changed? 

Pilar has recently purchased a crumbling clapboard cottage which sits atop a rocky cliff on Bluffs Island, a remote islet far off the coast of Maine. She had bought it on a whim one summer after she sold some paintings for a high five figures. 

Wyn was no longer a free-spirit as they had been back in college. She was afraid. She had been running away for twenty years. She was doing it once again. It had been twenty years since she cast the first lie. But what was the truth? 

“This the thing about a lie: over time, it not only obscures the truth but consumes it . . . A lie, in collusion with time, can overpower the truth. A good lie has the power to subsume reality. A good lie can become the truth . . . However, lies are also precarious things. Each twist and, each flutter of a wing, each protest threatening to tear the intricate construction apart.”

She finally persuades Gus into allowing her to take Avery to Maine after three weeks. She, of course, does not tell him nor anyone the reason for leaving, nor about the phone calls. However, once she arrives, she discovers the home is in great need of work, very remote, and Pilar does not visit often, due to the weather, traveling, and her work. 

However, instead of painting as she had planned, she has time on her hands and procrastinates. Time for worry and stress about the event years ago which changed her life. What will happen when the truth comes out? 

Instead of thinking about the petition for retrial and the thought of testifying—and the possibility of this monster going free and what she may have to face— she escapes into another world, when she discovers film in a box, in the old crumbled house’s basement. She becomes protective of this person's work. It is intimate. Delicate. Sensitive. 

Roll after roll of 35mm film. Undeveloped. Who takes 50 rolls of film and doesn’t get them developed? She cannot figure out this mystery. She is intrigued. This is a distraction for her. 

First, let me say, the house is very mysterious, and the guy next door. (what a brilliant addition to the story and tie-in). Up to this point, the mystery is what really happened twenty years earlier. Readers know something is not right and Wyn is hiding something. Some secret. Some lie. She is worried and afraid for her family. 

Rather than dwelling on this, Wyn becomes obsessed with the film and the lives in the photos. She has a few rolls developed and is further intrigued. A mysterious woman. Did this woman live in this house? She was a photographer. It appears there was possibly a lover and a baby. This is like wow, another saga! This storyline takes front and center. What happened to the woman?

Gus comes to visit to take Avery for a few weeks over the holiday and Wyn gives him the film for their friend back home to develop in his dark room. When she receives the negatives, she is further pulled into the mystery and intrigue of what happened to Sybil, the woman. (so was I) … 

She and Pilar are invited to the large mansion (Gatsby) home (loving this) for a New Year’s Eve party and begins to try and piece together the mystery of the woman in the photo. Who is this wealthy man? Their second home. The wife seems very odd. However, Pilar does not visit often and now she is alone at this house, while Avery is with Gus. 

However, what she learns about the woman in the photo and her discovery may just give her the strength to return to her hometown in New Hampshire and face her fears. Change her perspective. Will she finally have the courage, to tell the truth, and not be afraid? To heal from the pain. 

The secrets of Wyn, Rick, Robby, Sybil, and Seamus. The cost of silence. Waiting for the lies to come unraveled. Guilt. A dangerous path. Humanity’s darker side.

“The funny thing about the truth is, it always seems to have a way to getting free. For two decades, I could practically hear the beatings of wings against those invisible threads, gossamer snapping, coming undone.”

A lot to love here! From the dark thickness of trees, path through the woods, (heart-pounding) forest, running for safety, snow, fire, water, the old Cliffside Gatsby-like mansion, mermaid tears, the rocky cliff, the bluffs, the crashing waves, the danger lurking, evil, the cottage, a death, a rape, the emotion, a mysterious man next door, and two very dark secrets. The author executes it brilliantly. Would make a great movie or series!

Greenwood is a pro at blending all these elements and palettes of color . . . (you can tell she is a photographer) . . . building suspense and keeping you on the edge-of-your-seat. All the while you are so caught up in the second mystery at the Bluffs from long ago, you almost forget about the mystery behind what happened to Wyn when she was thirteen (this comes towards the ending). 

All consuming, compelling, and atmospheric. With the dual timelines-Greenwood slowly reveals in detail the events leading up to the rape, the raw emotions and fear of a young girl, her struggles, her near death experience, and the secret and guilt she has had to live with. 

In addition, we learn of the Bluffs Island secret. The Epitaphs and Prophecies box. What really happened to the woman who lived in the house. A murder, scandal, a suicide? The house had been sitting for thirty-five years. Each photo captures the essence. Present. Past. End. Beginning. 

Ongoing themes of before and after. At the heart, a deeply human story; a timely tragic issue of consent, rape, bullying, the scars, both literal and emotional . . . the repercussions. From memorable characters—surrounded by a web of deceit, fractured families, destructive secrets, lies . . . bringing characters to life—keeping you captivated from the first page to the last. 5 Stars ++

Am strongly reminded of Robert Frost's early poem, "Birches". 

"The force behind it comes from contrary pulls—truth and imagination, earth and heaven, concrete and spirit, control and abandon, flight and return. The whole upward thrust of the poem is toward imagination, escape, and transcendence—and away from heavy Truth with a capital T. The downward pull is back to earth. . . " 

Wyn is using the Maine house, her birches, her secret, and the mystery she discovers as an escape. However, like the poem, she does not wish to be left out on a limb. For the poet, he looks at bent trees and imagines another truth.

An avid Greenwood fan for years (one of my favorite authors), have read ALL her books and anxiously await the next. Each one is a rare treat. When I begin one of her books, I know it is a special gift and know to "mark out" uninterrupted time before beginning. I am like a "giddy kid" and "over the moon" when being granted an early reading copy. (thank you Kensington) 

An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions (a great reading guide included). Highly recommend! For fans of Mary Kubica, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, Karen White, Jodi Picoult, Heather Gudenkauf, Diane Chamberlain, and Amy Hatvany. 

A VERY special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an early reading copy. (Love the cover.)

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Multi-layered story--and a good read.  I was sad for Wyn and her struggles. I enjoyed reading about her interactions with 4 yr old Avery, and with her friend, Pilar. I liked the ocean island setting in Maine. And I was fascinated with the discovery of the box of undeveloped film canisters in the basement--and the mystery they held. I wish there would have been about ten more pages of story at the end. 
Advanced reader copy courtesy of the publishers at NetGalley for review.
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I love all the books that this author has written.  This one kept me reading way into the night!  Will definitely recommend to my patrons along with her previous books.
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<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="The Golden Hour" src="" /></a><a href="">The Golden Hour</a> by <a href="">T. Greenwood</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
This is the story Wyn, an artist, living in a duplex with her 4 year old daughter and her ex Gus, who lives next door.<br />Wyn was raped when she was 13 yrs old and this story shows how the rape has held her back in her relationships and her paintings.<br /><br />We meet Wyn's longtime friend Pilar, who sends Wyn to her isolated home on a bluff in Maine, to get away from her everyday life, and while there, she comes across a discovery that brings another story into the picture.<br />This is my second book by <br />T. Greenwood and I plan on reading more of her work. I enjoyed this book.<br /><br />Thank you to NetGalley. Kensington Books, and author T. Greenwood for the opportunity to read this advanced e-read.
<a href="">View all my reviews</a>
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Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for an advance copy.

I was drawn into the story from the first few pages, actually from the "Palette". We enter Wyn Davies life as it is falling apart. We are introduced to the major and minor players in the story in such a way that we know who to embrace immediately, and who to fear and hate. The story, while slow in places, moves forward with a rhythm that matches the lush and beautiful language. The descriptions brought me close to each place and emotion.

After I finished the book I kept thinking about how and why I missed the parallels of the subtext. Why did it take me so long to pick up the threads and weave them together? Definitely my failing but I still wonder about some of the chapter and perhaps that is the beauty of the story.
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T. Greenwood's writing is very addictive for me.  I read her new novel, <i>The Golden Hour</i> in one sitting.  The characters are brought to life so sharply and the narrative's clarity often makes me want to weigh in and scream, "No, don't do that or please stop." Wyn Davies is an artist who lives in one half of the duplex she inherited in Queens.  Her husband, Gus, from whom she recently separated, lives in the other half.  Their four year old daughter, Avery, moves back and forth between her parents.

Wyn, her best friend, Pilar, and Gus all attended the Rhode Island School of Design fifteen years ago.  Art is a big deal for these characters.  Pilar is quickly acquiring the most commercial success with a show at the Pace Gallery in NY and the media has turned its attention to her.  Gus works at a regular job and does his art work at night. Wyn does commission paintings of Birch trees, with a website and a store on Etsy.  She is unhappy with orders to paint trees that will fit in with her customers' couches or wall colors.  She has a wonderful child and that fills in some of the gaps but Wyn is still trying to survive a horrendous event from her childhood when she was raped by a kid at her school in New Hampshire.  The boy has been in prison for twenty years but the Innocence Project in New Hampshire wants to run a new DNA test and reopen the case.  When Wyn starts getting phone calls, she freaks out and wants to run away.  Luckily, Pilar has recently purchased a rundown house on an island in Maine. Wyn accepts her invitation to go there to paint and wait to see what happen with the court case. She is blocked from painting what her soul wants to put on canvas and trapped with the Birch trees.  Perhaps, the peace of the Maine island will allow her to find her muse.

The time in Maine is a big story and some of the layers of Wyn start to reveal themselves.  Another mystery appears in the form of very old undeveloped film hidden in the basement of the Maine house.  Wyn tries to work on her latest commission with pressure from her customer but events and thoughts take over in dramatic ways.  It is impossible to stop reading until the resolution presents itself.  This novel is complex and yet simple in the end.  A wounded child can't get over her pain if the truth doesn't come out.  TG's creation is yet another wonderful gift of writing.  I can't wait for the next one!

ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Kensington Publishing Corporation (February 28th 2017).
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The Golden Hour, just at twilight, when the amber hues of fading light play upon the focus of nature's panorama. So strangely how this gentle light falls upon breathless beauty and upon the blighted squalor simultaneously.

Wyn Davies is a walking dichotomy conflicted by her present existence and the suffocating reality of her past. She is an artist in search of that illusive twilight glow upon her canvases. Wyn surrounds herself with tubes of various paints and artistic implements. She selects. She decides. She executes her design according to will.

And yet, Wyn's fate was decided for her when she was a mere thirteen years old. While taking a shortcut home through the New Hampshire woods, she was accosted and brutally raped. Twenty years later, Wyn must come face-to-face with the shocking news that her rapist may be set free because of new DNA evidence. Throughout the story you will peer into details of that night that Wyn has never divulged to another living soul. What really happened?

When the opportunity for Wyn to stay with her best friend, Pilar, in a rundown cabin in Bluffs Island, Maine, she jumps at the chance. Her marriage to fellow artist, Gus, is on the skids and they need time away from each other. With four year old daughter, Avery, in hand, Wyn takes on a mounting challenge. Little does she realize, flames do singe no matter the locale.

T. Greenwood presents a multi-layered storyline here. Wyn is a very complicated main character. Her reactions are not always predictable. Greenwood also inserts a twisty backstory based on some canisters of film that Wyn finds from the 1970's in the cellar of this cabin. This is quite the undertaking of a marriage gone bad, professional jealousies, mysterious photos, a lost identity, and an impending new criminal trial.

But Greenwood is up to the task in crafting her story with inserts of artist techniques and stylistic variances. You see, you feel, you sense, with uncanny acuity, the anguish of her characters. My only concern was the abruptness of the ending. And that may well have been the intention of Greenwood all along. Looking forward to more from this talented author.

I received a copy of The Golden Hour through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Kensington Books and to T. Greenwood for the opportunity.
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I loved this book.  The characters were wonderfully drawn and I related easily to them.  I loved how T. Greenwood used painting as  Wyn's metaphor for what happened to her, and would like to visit with Wyn and family again to watch her become famous for her work at a level comparable to Pillar's.  I'd like more of the island and more of Seamus.  The photography storyline was a big bonus.
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Descriptions of color/painting the scene!!
Past is coming to the present.  
So escape to a remote island sounds heavenly.  The town consists of a drugstore, Post Office, and 1 Bar/Restaurant.  Makes me want to go.
While she is turning on the utilities, she goes to the basement and discovers a box -
Epitaphs and Prophecies - filled with rolls of film with dates marked starting in 7/12/76
The Golden Hour is an End and a Beginning.

The mystery keeps her looking for answers, while looking for answers in her own life.  
I recommend this book!!
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