Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Golden Hour, Maiya Willaims

Rowan read the sign posted on the train platform for the 14th time. For the 14th time he wondered why there were quotation marks around the word “famous.”

I just loved this book. It was so wonderful. So basically, the book is about a boy named Rowan, who is forced to spend his summer in a small town in Maine with his silent sister Nina. But then, along with twins Xanthe and Xavier, he explores a mysterious old hotel, that suddenly comes to life at certain hours. Suddenly, Nina disappears, and Rowan, Xanthe, and Xavier must find her. At least, that’s what the book description says. What it doesn’t tell you is that they travel back in time to the French Revolution (via the old hotel), where they think Nina is. And that is what I really loved about the book.

First of all, I always love books with time travel in them, and second, the French Revolution was a very interesting (though brutal) period. We meet many famous characters, like Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. I was quite surprised to find the depiction of Marie Antoinette more favorable than is usual. At one point, Rowan finds himself having dinner with her, and she seems quite anguished over false accusations being leveled at her. It was very different and certainly interesting to read. You’d have to do more research to really say. Surprising, Maiya Williams does not touch on her portrayal of Marie Antoinette in the afterword.

Another great thing was the characters: Rowan, Nina, the twins, and his two great aunts were all so amazing. As well as, of course, all the characters from the French revolution.

I also received this book from Abram’s, and though it was easy, I still loved it, and could probably appreciate it more now than a few years ago because I know a bit more about the French revolution.

The “golden” hour of the title refers to the moment right before sunset, in between day and night. Quite a beautiful concept. There is also a “silver” hour, the time before sunrise. (Additionally, the golden and silver hours are when you can travel back in time.)

The Golden Hour is not all about time travel though. Both Rowan and Nina learn something throughout. I would definitely recommend this one.

Read The Golden Hour:
  • If you like books with time travel
  • If you are interested in the French revolution
255 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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