Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Golden Hour

Greetings!  I am reviewing a novel by T. Greenwood today.  Ms. Greenwood has also written Where I Lost Her, Bodies of Water, Grace, The Glittering World, and The Forever Bridge.  You can find her other books on Amazon and follow her for updates.  T. Greenwood is also on Facebook (a good place to connect with authors).

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.  The Golden Hour will be out on Tuesday, February 28.

I appreciate your visit.  May you have a very special Saturday.  I am off to enjoy my day and read War, Spies and Bobby Sox by Libby Fischer Hellmann.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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