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Historical Novel Review - Febryary 1, 2012
"…This wonderful debut novel grabs the reader from the first word.
The history of World War II in Italy is gently woven through this
story where character, courage and love win the day. I did not want
the story to end. An excellent story, beautifully written. Highly
-- Monica E. Spence
Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN) - February 5, 2012
"Wurtele perfectly captures the emotions of a young woman whose life
is turned upside down by war. And she offers an interesting look at
Giovanna's father, who is a follower of dictator Benito Mussolini
before the war and is at first angry with his son for fighting with
the partisans. The story is told by Giovanna, looking back 50 years
and commenting on her choices during the war".
'The Golden Hour' is a Midwest Connections pick of Midwest
Independent Booksellers Association and a feature of the Doubleday
Book Club, Literary Guild and Book of the Month club online."
Star Tribune (Minneapolis) - February 4, 2012
"…the book's engaging young heroine and clear, accessible prose make
it a suitable read for a range of ages… …It's part historical novel,
part adventure story and part romance, kept together by a flawed,
naïve narrator who struggles to do the right thing in the heightened
circumstances of war."
Booklist - January 1, 2012
“This smoothly written debut presents Giovanna’s coming-of-age as
she breaks away from her family’s protectiveness and finds a noble
calling in aiding Italy’s partisan fighters, including her brother,
Giorgio. Wurtele captures the innocence and impetuousness of youth
as Giovanna explores her attraction to a handsome Nazi lieutenant
and later falls in love with Mario, a Jewish man who was badly
wounded in the resistance movement. Wurtele carefully looks beyond
religious and cultural stereotypes, and her heroine’s character
growth is moving and realistic.”
-- Sarah Johnson