The Golden Hour (Time-Travel Series, #1)

ISBN: 0810992167
ISBN 13: 9780810992160
By: Maiya Williams

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Children's Fantasy Favorites Fiction Historical Historical Fiction Juvenile Science Fiction Time Travel To Read

About this book

Thirteen-year-old Rowan and his eleven-year-old sister Nina, still bereft by the death of their mother the year before, experience an unusual adventure through time when they come to stay with their two eccentric great-aunts in a small town on the Maine coast.

Reader's Thoughts


I liked this story and thought overall it was a good read for middle graders. There were a few references I thought could have been left out or re-phrased to make it more appropriate for school children. ie: no sexual relations when time travelling. Also one character is referered to as Miss for several paragraphs and then as Mrs. and then back to Miss and I hate seeing mistakes like that in a book as it invalidates the story. The time travel in France is the most interesting part.


Fantasy time travel novel based around a brother and sister coming to terms with the death of their mother. An engaging story which finds the brother in revolutionary France which will appeal to lovers of historical fiction whilst the sister goes to visit her mother before she dies. How they both come to terms with living in the present without their mother is told gently and sensitively.


This is the beginning of the Time Travel series. I read book #3 a couple months ago and liked it a lot. However, this first book explained a whole lot of things that were a bit vague in book #3. I loved it! The author took time to adequately research the French Revolution and it was great reading about how the people felt during this terrible time in history. It seemed authentic. Marie Antoinette seems like a misunderstood person. In this book 13 year-old Rowen and his 11 year-old sister Nina, a childhood music prodigy, are hurting from the sudden death of their mother. The family is falling apart. They are sent for the summer to their very odd great aunts in Maine where they meet twins Xanthe and Xavier. There's an old resort hotel in the town and there's something very odd about it. That's when they discover that every evening at sunset, the golden hour, the place comes alive. Intriguingly, time travel is possible at this time. When Nina disappears the others are sure that she went to meet her idol, Mozart, and so they hurry after her- right into the French Revolution of the 1790s. I definitely want book #2 "The Hour of the Cobra".

Scottsdale Public Library

The Golden Hour is a delightfully crafted story, weaving together magic, humor, history, and emotion. The adventure of searching for Nina and time traveling to the French Revolution will capture the audience. The reader assumes that the characters will find the missing sister and return to their present time, but Williams keeps them guessing as to how all the events will transpire. -Sara G


~promising~I liked the cover when I bought this but I didn't expect the story to be moving! It was really amazing how each of the mystery revealed itself. A unique way to find out another world beyond our own. This book made me think of things I've never paid attention before like for example as the title itself says 'Golden Hour'. The few minutes where both the sun and the moon can be seen and when unexpected thing happen. I never paid attention to that. Also about the things we could lose in just a matter of seconds... time can be deceiving... but really can't.This book contains exhilarating adventure that can keep all the readers from shifting to another book.Two thumbs Up.


I absolutely love historical fiction and this is an easier one but I quite like it...good settings and characters!


the beginning was slow for me, but i loved the time travel piece! can't wait to delve into #2.

Susan Erhardt

Tweens who enjoyed the "Magic Treehouse" books when they were younger would probably enjoy this story. My 13-year-old really liked it and bugged me until I read it.


This is a book about a 13year old boy named Rowan, and his 11 year old sister Nina going on an adventure with their 2 aunts that have very different personalities. One of the aunt is mental, and the other aunt is very unaware. The four of them are on an adventure to find their dad who left them 5 years ago, because their mother's death 1 year ago. They have very little money, plus, they need to make sure that the aunts are safe because, on their way, they meet dangerous events. Rowan is a boy that is very brave, smart, and responsible. He knows how to keep the aunts and Nina safe, and he makes smart plans in the middle of the adventure. He reminds me of Mirri, in The Iron Ring because, Mirri made smart plans on the journey to help Tamar, just like Rowan.


I happened to have this on my bookshelf from forever ago I guess. It's a little bit too young for me now, but it was a rather quick read and had some interesting bits of history.


The Golden Hour By: Maiya WilliamsTeresa The Golden Hour is the first book of the time-travel series by Maiya Williams. In this book a boy named Rowan, and his sister Nina were invited to stay at their aunts house in Owatannauk, for the summer. Rowan and Nina soon found strange things about this little town. Their curiosity soon brought them and their new friends Xanthe and Xavier to a abandoned hotel. After looking around at the hotel something strange suddenly happened. The hotel looked new again. After getting in the hotel they learned that the hotel had a vehicle called “Alleviators” that can take them back in time, but they decided not to go. The next morning Rowan’s sister disappeared. Rowan thought his sister used the alleviator and went back in time. So Rowan, Xanthe, and Xavier decided to go look for his sister. When Nina disappeared and Rowan, Xanthe, and Xavier searched for her, it was like when me and my cousins were on a ferry and one of my cousins got mad and ran off somewhere. We searched for him and after a few minutes we found him sitting next to my mom in the ferry. I really like this book because it is adventurous and exciting. I also like this book because I can understand what is happening. I would recommend this book to anybody who likes adventure, time traveling, or history.


One of my favorite books of all time. I first read this years ago, and I haven't forgotten it. I love it!


Excellent book. A trio of kids travel in time to save one's sister. They find themselves caught up in the French Revolution where they witness the troubles befalling both sides of the conflict.

Cathrine Bonham

This is an awsome Time Travel fantasy adventure. I loved every minute of it. Fast paced action keeps the story flowing rather than digressing into long sections of historical disscusion like some other books of this genre. I Loved the Characters; especially, the two witty and intelligent Homeschoolers. Xanthe and Xavier Alexander are great examples of the benefits of Home schooling they have the curiosity to go Time Traveling and the Smarts to help them survive it. A must read for every Home Schooler. Even Home Schoolers can have some School Spirit.Lastly, this book offers many insites into the French Revolution (Something to think about for anyone looking for a History Project). Readers should be prepared for the Emotional Ending though, it's a real tear jerker.


I picked up a copy of this book a couple of years ago at my local re-use it center as the synopsis on the dust cover captured my attention. However, what really piqued my interest was an inscription to a young girl named McKinlee on her 12th birthday which was March 31, 2005 according to the date her Grandma & Grandpa Ward inscribed. Each grandparent had written a lovely & personal message to their young grand-daughter. I often find inscriptions in second hand books but usually they're older books (as i have quite an affinity for old books) & I usually feel quite sure the previous owners have passed from this realm having no further use for their book. However, as this book is newer and the inscription date is in the very recent past, and McKinlee would now be just 21, I found myself wondering why she would have given away such a personal gift? Did she have a falling out with her family? Or worse, has she perhaps moved on from this life? Or, was it simply that this book was placed in the 'donate' pile by mistake & McKinlee has wondered about & lamented it's loss ever since? I wish I knew the answer to this mystery for I'd very much like to re-unite her with this heart-felt gift from her grandparents. Alas, I suppose I shall never know. I will keep it on my bookshelf and take it down from time to time to read the inscription...and wonder.Now, to review the story itself. I found The Golden Hour to be a very enjoyable read. It's an imaginative, adventurous & heart-felt story of 13 year-old Rowan Popplewell and his younger sister, 11 year-old Nina. Their young lives were irrevocably changed in an instant when their mother was killed while out running an errand. Their dad has spiraled into a deep depression, Nina has stopped talking & worse, stopped playing the piano which she has an amazing talent for, bottling up her grief inside herself & leaving Rowan feeling even more alone to deal with his loss; for he and Nina were once extremely close. Fortunately, they are sent to spend a month of their summer break with their two eccentric 'aunts' in a small town in Maine. There they meet Xander & his twin sister Xanthe. Together with their new friends, Rowan & Nina set out on quite an adventure. One that Rowan didn't expect as he & the twins end up going back in time to search for Nina who's gone off on her own but, she's not told anyone where. So Rowan and the twins are left to do some quick investigative work to figure out where she may have gone. Feeling certain they've discovered where, they're off on a mad dash to find her; for they may only visit any given location for a max of 7 days otherwise they'll be trapped in that time forever! During the course of this adventure, Rowan learns a lot about himself & the sometimes confusing manifestations that grief can take, all to his advantage. Nina too, comes out of her self-imposed silence & learns to accept that there are things in life we can't change, no matter how very much we wish that we could & that sometimes the hardest person to forgive is one's self. As a person who lost a parent when I was just a teen, I could relate to Rowan & Nina & I found this to be a very, very good read for many reasons. I'd recommend it to anyone, not just young adults.

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