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The Golden Hour [Paperback]

William Nicholson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

10 May 2012

She loves him. She's happy. But could she be happier?

Maggie and Andrew are lovers who live apart - Maggie in the country, Andrew in town. When Andrew is offered a job close to Maggie, moving in with her is the obvious next step. Or is it? Is this the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with?

Maggie panics. She ends their relationship, devastating Andrew. But when he turns the tables on her, she begins to see him differently.

Meanwhile, Maggie's Sussex neighbours are living through their own intense dilemmas. The stories of Maggie and other characters entwine in a continuous dance over seven golden days of high summer - a human kaleidoscope that captures how passionate yet mundane, painful yet comic our everyday lives can be.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849163936
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849163934
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Nicholson was born in 1948 and received his early education at Downside School, a Roman Catholic monastic school, set in the countryside near Bath.

He went on to study English Literature at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating with a double First Class degree in 1970. After leaving university, William joined BBC television, where he worked as a documentary film maker. It was not long before William's talent was channelled into writing for television dramas and his professional writing career took off.

William is perhaps best known as an acclaimed Hollywood screenwriter, whose work includes Elizabeth: The Golden Age, the Bafta award-winning Shadowlands, and Oscar-winning Gladiator.

He has written several screenplays for films due for future release, including Long Walk to Freedom, an adaptation of Nelson Mandela's autobiography.

Nicholson's first trilogy for young readers, The Wind on Fire, met with universal acclaim. Winner of the Smarties Gold Award and the Blue Peter Book Award. Nicholson's latest trilogy the Noble Warriors has also been enthusiastically received. The final book Noman is published on 4th September 2007:

'The events rip along, but the real strength of Nicholson's novel lies in its wonderful characters: Morning Star, drowning in the power of her love for Wildman, and Echo Kittle, captured by the enemy of Orlans' Daily Telegraph

His latest book, the highly anticipated Rich and Mad is a compelling and beautifully written novel about first love, first sex, and everything in-between.

Nicholson has been cited as one of the most gifted and imaginative writers alive in the world today. His adult titles include The Trial of True Love and The Society of Others.

William lives in Sussex with his wife Virginia, and their three children.

Product Description

Review

'Capturing humour in the small, perfectly skewered moments of everyday life, this is a story of small, largely middle-class lives enclave, made golden by the light that Nicholson shines on them' Sunday Times.

'Nicholson's novel reflects back his readers' hopes and disappointments in soothing therapeutic prose' Independent.

'rich in dialogue and humour' Express.

'Nicholson's eye for human behaviour and talent for storytelling make this novel gripping and thoroughly enjoyable' Bookbag.

'You'll love it ... so intimate, so socially spot on ... Nicholson writes beautifully about love, tear-jerkingly well about parents and children' Daily Mail.

'How does he make you care so much? As you read, you feel a deep compassion ... you turn the pages, addicted' Spectator.

'He writes with great emotional empathy ... richly detailed and acutely observed' The Times.

From the Inside Flap

Maggie and Andrew are loves who live apart - Maggie in the country, Andrew in town. When Andrew is offered a job close to Maggie, moving in with her is the obvious next step. Or is it? Moving in together leads to marriage. Is this the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with? Maggie panics. Andrew is devastated. But when he turns the tables on her, Maggie begins to see him rather differently. Meanwhile, Maggie's Sussex neighbours are living through their own intense dilemmas. Henry's midlife crisis isn't helped by a plague of rabbits in his garden, but hiring petty criminal Terry to extend the fencing turns out badly. Henry's wife Laura is secretly adored by her brother in law, Roddy. He hovers in the wings waiting for the moment to declare his love; while screenwriter Alan's efforts to convert a Grade II listed outbuilding to a workspace are thwarted by a maddening local planning officer - Maggie. The stories of these and other characters entwine in a continuous dance over seven golden days of high summer. It is a human kaleidoscope that captures how familiar yet strange, passionate yet mundane, painful yet comic our everyday lives can be.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Engaging and Entertaining Story 9 May 2012
By Susie B TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Maggie has known Andrew for years; first they were friends, now they are lovers. Maggie and Andrew live separately, but Andrew is keen for them to move in together and although Maggie initially agrees, she is now having second thoughts. She does care for Andrew, but is he what she really wants? Does she love him enough? Is there someone else out there just waiting to fall in love with her? Although Maggie hasn't said anything to Andrew yet, he knows something is wrong and is deeply unhappy. Enter Jo, Maggie's best friend, who agrees to act as a go-between for them - but whose best interests does Jo have at heart?

Maggie's neighbours, Henry and Laura, although in their early fifties with years of marriage behind them and now quite settled, have their problems too. They both miss their absent son, Jack, and when they welcome an old school friend of his into their home, they begin to worry about the effect he is having on their impressionable teenage daughter. Added to that, Henry is having to come to terms with the fact that his career is now in decline, his garden is over-run with rabbits and when he employs a local 'Jack the Lad' to help, he ends up with more problems than he started with. And then on top of all of that, Laura's brother-in-law, Roddy, is having a mid-life crisis based in his garden shed where he fantasizes about Laura and makes plans to leave his wife and family and start a whole new life.

And that's not all, there are other characters to meet in this story - each with their own strengths and weaknesses and their own way of dealing (or not dealing) with their problems; some of these problems being fairly minor, others more profound.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A benign deity 30 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like a benign and compassionate deity, William Nicholson reads his character's thoughts and feelings and offers them to us without censure. A picture of suburban life emerges to delight us - I read this on holiday and it was ideal.

But the thoughts and feelings are our own familiar inner worlds: our doubts, pains,conflicts, dilemmas - there is plenty here that is illuminating and thought provoking. What could be better?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars South Downs forever. 7 Oct 2011
By Gorilla
Format:Hardcover
I suppose The Golden Hour completes a trilogy. It is the latest in the "Edenfield" series of novels which for me have revived an interest in fiction about modern day life. The real heroes of the trilogy are of course the South Downs. People visit them, commute from them & contemplate moving into that hinterland. This latest novel is slightly different from the previous two in that we now have some "lower class" crime which imposes itself upon what might be considered to be an essentially middle class mileu. Where did Sheena get her sense of proportion from when she forgave Dean for pinching a ruby ring from Laura & Henry?; he did it in order to consolidate his commitment to her. She repaired the damage by buying one from Argos after returning it. In fact this novel consists of a series of compromises & agreements between couples, long-standing & new, which does the heart good. Lust & love, both realistic & unrealistic are dealt with in this novel. Particularly well dealt with are the professional lives of the TV & film writers, Alan & Henry. But then, William Nicholson would know about the frustrations & pleasures of this. I wondered if Henry was Nicholson's alter ego. This novel is less salacious than the previous "All the Hopeful Lovers" but even so Belinda Redknapp, she of the "well endowed" previous boy friend episode makes a very brief appearance when she imparts to Laura her latest erotic contribution: "lubrication". I loved it. Thoroughly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slice of life 27 Aug 2014
By Nicola TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
William Nicholson is the master of the slice of life novel, this one being set over 7 days in the summer of 2010. It follows four couples in the run-up to them meeting at a dinner party on the Saturday night at Henry and Laura's house. The four couples each have their own trials to deal with and the story simply follows that.

This is the third in a series of books set in Sussex. They feature some of the same characters, and it was lovely to meet them again, but they can be read as standalone novels.

I don't think The Golden Hour was quite as good as the first two, but as always Nicholson's characterisations are what make the story work. It's a very good read and I shall look forward to meeting some of the characters again in Motherland.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I have not found a book so enjoyable and inspiring since reading Vikram Seth's "Suitable Boy". Nicholson's work is reminiscent of Seth's in that he has great tenderness and affection for his characters and all their flaws and foibles. He also manages to create a very intimate portrait of one small community and its members but at the same time we have a powerful sense of a whole nation at a particular point in time. This is not an easy thing to achieve. Seth did it, and Tolstoy and Solzhenitsyn did it. I am very proud that someone in this country is writing a 'condition of England' novel for us now. We need this kind of novel: highly intimate but also intellectual and philosophical, very down to earth but also highly spiritual. As a Catholic I strongly suspected that Nicholson was of my faith. I gather from his website that he is now lapsed. However from the caring tolerant kindliness which shines through his prose I sense that he retains far more of the faith than he realises.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read
Published 18 days ago by Maureen Carmichael
5.0 out of 5 stars good characterisation, although it can take time to get ...
Really enjoyable, good characterisation, although it can take time to get to know everyone as it changes the perspective with each chapter. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Toastie
4.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyable
This is a very well-written, thought-provoking slice of surburban life. It could be read as a stand alone book but is enhanced by knowledge of characters from the previous two... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Edenfield triumph
William Nicholson always enchants me with his writing style. It can seem to some that it is slow, not pacey enough, not enough narrative drive, but this is the thing I like most... Read more
Published 12 months ago by JulesH
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Loved all the charachters, they were so real. You could identify with each one and really care what happened to each one. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars All the minutiae of life is here
William Nicholson is a clever. The can build a drama about the week in the life of a group of individuals whose lives overlap. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Moose Papoose
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable read
I love the way William Nicholson's stories are all connected. It's great to be able to find out what happens next to his characters. Read more
Published 21 months ago by anneemortimer
4.0 out of 5 stars the golden hour
This books deals with the lives of 4 couples during the whole week before they meet at a dinner party given by one of them. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Emilie
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
I don't usually go in for novels about every day life, preferring books that are a little more escapist. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars A GOLDEN READ
It takes a while to get into this story but once it all started to gell together I couldn't put it down. I have recommended it to others who feel exactly the same way. Read more
Published 23 months ago by sunshine
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