The Golden Hour by Margaret Wurtele

The Golden Hour

In this stunning debut set in the summer of 1944 in Tuscany, Giovanna Bellini, the daughter of a wealthy aristocrat and vineyard owner, has just turned seventeen and is on the cusp of adulthood. War bears down on her peaceful little village after the Italians sign a separate peace with the Allies-transforming the Germans into an occupying army.But when her brother joins the Resistance, he asks Giovanna to hide a badly wounded fighter who is Jewis...

Details The Golden Hour

TitleThe Golden Hour
Release DateFeb 7th, 2012
PublisherBerkley Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Cultural, Italy, Fiction, War, World War II, Romance

Reviews The Golden Hour

  • Tara Chevrestt
    Wow. This is one of those books with one of those endings that just left me with my mouth hanging open. It takes place in Italy during WWII. Italy has been taken over by Nazis. The heroine, Giovanna, is spending her teen years under German rule and has even had to give up most of her home to German soldiers. Her brother has failed to report for duty with Italian/German army and has run off to be a resistance fighter/partisan. Her father is angry ...
  • Shari Larsen
    It was in October of 1943 when German forces started their invasion of 17 year old Giovanna Bellini's peaceful village in Tuscany. At first, she finds herself fascinated by the dashing Nazi officers; she has lead somewhat of a sheltered life, and has yet to come face to face with the harsh realities of the war.Her life changes though when her brother Giorgio joins the partisans, and recruits her to smuggle food for them. At first it is a lark for...
  • Biddy
    I was so disappointed in this book. It is as if the book was built backwards, that the author knew how she wanted it to end and wrote from that point. I found her characters hard to like and uninspiring. The first 3/4 of the book had no tension at all and I found this tough going. I felt that some parts were a stretch to believe, for instance, Giovanna goes from a scared infatuated girl to one who leaps at Mario and says "I want to feel you insid...
  • Melody
    I love reading stories which have a war setting; don't get me wrong, war stories are never a joy to read but they are part of history and they allow us to get a glimpse of the war through the eyes of the characters, even if they are fictional ones.The Golden Hour is a story about a 17-year-old Italian girl, Giovanna Bellini's journey during the Nazi occupation in Tuscany during the 1940s and how the war affected her throughout and into her adulth...
  • Romancing the Book
    Reviewed By~JoAnneReview Copy Provided By~PublisherThis is Wurtele's debut novel and it was a riveting read. The book takes place during World War II in Tuscany, Italy and you felt like you were there with the vivid descriptions of the countryside, vineyards, food, villas, farmland and churches along with the Nazis, partisans, bombings, and tales of the war. It's a story of family, honor, strength and love along with all the fears invoked by the ...
  • Dimpleswk
    For the independent, strong female reader, the heroine in this story is frustrating. For half of the book, the heroine is portrayed as the thoughtless damsel in distress. As the story develops, the author adds more strength and other characters to de-emphasize the damsel in distress thoughts of the heroine. The story is an interesting perspective of Italy during World War II. Due to the frustration the character development, I rated this book low...
  • Bella Martinez
    This was so gorgeous. A must-read for fans of historical fiction.
  • Viviane Crystal
    Giovanna Bellini is a very young 17 year old at the opening of this story occurring in 1944 Tuscany, Italy. The Germans have taken over Italy and confiscated the bottom floor of the Bellini home as residence for German soldiers. Giovanni really hasn't absorbed the horrors that the Nazis have perpetrated across Europe and are continuing to do so in her native land. But she is unfortunately about to learn, the hard way!First, she falls into an infa...
  • Rosemarie
    I gave this book two stars because of the lack of depth to the characters and the generally careless way of writing. The premise of the book has many possibilities for a really good book, but the author did not succeed. The plot proceeds at a really shallow and superficial level. A real disappointment.Also, the main character, Giovanna, is immature and self-centred throughout the whole book. Everything is about her feelings; she shows a distinct ...
  • Jennifer
    I feel like 1 star is harsh but I was so frustrated with this for such a long time, and kept rolling my eyes at everything Giovanna did - what an idiot! I almost quit reading, and I don't ever consider quitting a book (put them aside for a later and never get back to them? Yes, but purposely quit, no). It picked up the last 80-100 pages, meaning it went from annoying to bland but the last 80 pages of a 330 page book being tolerable is really too ...
  • Jamie Stanley
    I won this book in a first reads giveaway and ended up in my top 10 favorite books that I have read this year. This book takes place in italy during world war II. The main character is a young girl who starts out making poor decisions and ends up being a hero. This is a perfect coming of age story that I would reccommend to everyone. Loved it!
  • Suzanne
    It could have been a good book, but Ms. Wurtele just didn't produce a professional-quality writing. It read pretty much as though a young person wrote it. It's about a young Italian woman who participated in resisting the Germans during WWII.
  • Marissa
    Although it took me a minute to actually crack the book open and start reading it, I enjoyed it once I did. It didn't quite go the route I was expecting based on the first few chapters, but was good overall.
  • Mary Montgomery
    I've never read or heard such a detailed account of the Italian point of view during WWII. I loved this.
  • Oceantide74
    I found Giovanna's character annoying for some reason. There was something unlikable about her and one dimensional in the character development.
  • Paula
    This was a very good novel of World War II in Italy. I really liked the setting and the characters. A very enjoyable read.
  • Elizabeth Terrall
    "The casing of my heart curled inward like a leaf of lettuce in the first hard frost."That is about the most interesting line in this book, and yet it sounds contrived and makes literally no sense.Throughout the entire book, I was wondering what the point was going to be. The prologue gives the reader the sense that some large, catastrophic event caused a divide between her and her father that was irreparable even dozens of years later. And when ...
  • Marisa
    I'm so sad because I wanted to love this book. I'm a sucker for WWII novels, especially any that have to do with finding love during the Holocaust. However, this novel just didn't quite cut it for me. I found Giovanna to be immature and childish, even for a 17/18 year old, and her standing up to her parents came across more as a bratty spoiled teenager than a young adult claiming her independence and doing what she thinks is right. It's possible ...
  • Jennifer
    The prologue felt so flowery to me...I didn't think I was going to enjoy it. Then I jumped in and really appreciated the novel. After spending a month in Tuscany this past summer and currently living in Switzerland I felt familiar with the setting. WWII is something I always want to understand more and this story really opened my eyes. Tomorrow begins the Trump Era and this book helped me digest some of my feeling around this unsettling time.
  • Lacy Vaughn
    The Golden Hour by: Margaret WurteleThe Golden Hour is about a seventeen year old girl named Giovanna Bellini and the way that she first is fascinated by the Nazi officers because she hasn’t come face-to-face with the harsh realities of war. Her brother joins the partisans and he recruits her to smuggle food, so he changes his life. Her life takes a drastic turn when she is asked to hide a wounded freedom fighter named Mario Rava. The reason it...
  • Jenny
    I wanted to like this book, but the characters left me wanting more depth and the dialogue seemed rushed and incomplete at times. However, it was a good perspective of the war that I had not read from Italy.
  • Allison
    Nice book with Italian flair, family drama, and love stories with WWII as a backdrop. Wish there had been a bit more time for the characters to develop and the omission of repetitive battle strategy details. However, it's an impressive book for the author's first publication!
  • Sherwestonstec
    I really enjoyed this book! "A young Italian woman risks her life to defy the injustice surrounding her. A touching novel of forbidden love in war torn Italy." I loved the writing style. A really quick read. Compelling. HIghly Recommend!
  • Penny
    I really loved this book. Another WWII story about young Italian and Jewish kids growing up during the Nazi's taking over. This takes you through the war and a love story. I highly recommend this book.
  • Lisa
    Enjoyed the story, didn't want to put it down!
  • Peggy
    Again, surprisingly I loved this story and how its woven. Very enjoyable read.
  • Mindy
    The story begins with Giovannia seated bedside with her dying father. She recalls the most memorable point in their relationship and perhaps the turning point as well. WWII is in full swing and Italy had at first sided with Hitler and his Fascist rule. However, once Italy was invaded as well, the Italians soon realize that Mussolino, their dictator, was an idiot and brought them into a horrible war. Giorgio, G's brother, is drafted by the Italian...
  • Diane
    2.5 stars. this was a really good story line, but the writing was maybe for a younger reader.
  • Kelly Knapp
    If the reader looks at this story as a simple romance set against the backdrop of war, The Golden Hour by Margaret Wurtele is well-written and beautiful. Our heroine, Giovanna, is a 17 year old Catholic girl living in the countryside of Italy during 1943. As she begins to mature, she takes on more and more anti-war and specifically anti-Nazi activities.The story begins fifty years after the war has ended. Giovanna goes to her father’s side as h...
  • Cindi
    Reading the synopsis of The Golden Hour by Margaret Wurtele, I was immediately intrigued. Giovanna is a young woman living in Tuscany during World War II. Her village is occupied by the Germans as the Italians have now aligned themselves with the Allies. As the Italians wait for the Allied troops to liberate them, some, including Giovanna's brother, join the Resistance. Her brother asks Giovanna to help hide his Jewish friend Marco. And, of cours...