When Richard Smith sets foot on Manhattan Island in 1746, it's not long before New York tongues are wagging. The enigmatic Mr. Smith has a promissory note for 1000 pounds, but is not to be drawn on who he is, and what he plans to do with his fortune. If he is to prosper, this likeable but playing-his-cards-close-to-his-chest Englishman must successfully navigate a naturally mistrustful Manhattan society.
With its period appropriate style and historically accurate details, this is an intriguing and fast-paced adventure of colonial New York.
2016 Costa Book First Novel Award winner.
There was a wide range of opinions about this book. The long paragraphs and detailed description really annoyed some people. But members were still pleased to have read it.
We didn't feel it was a 'must read', and thought that the style would appeal to a limited readership. Several loved the descriptive language. A bit of a twist. A clever writer, we thought.
I think this is the first time that we only had one lady who loved this book. One other lady read it & thought it was ok. One other lady read it and did not like it at all. One didn't even start it and the rest of us started but all gave up as didn't like it at all. Although it was in keeping with the time (1700's) it was too descriptive and went on far too much. I don't think this is a bad thing, more that most of us just couldn't deal with it - maybe it was the Covid 19 fall-out We all agreed it was a great story line and very cleverly done but just didn't like the style of writing.
Those of us who completed the book loved it. I think by the time we had finished talking about the book, the others were wishing they had persevered with it. It was very intriguing and descriptive of NY in the 1700s. We loved the "dark" humour in it, and the unusual way the plot developed.
We loved the book. It was true to the 18thC format with plot and twist, and long descriptions or insert of other narrative such as a letter. Good historic research put to excellent use made the story credible. Enough twists and questions left at the end for a good discussion. We would like more from this author.
Almost an exact 50/50 split as to the merits/enjoyment of 'Golden Hill'. Half felt it was far too wordy and totally impossible; the other half enjoyed the historical aspect, and although agreed it was wordy, found it a "worthwhile read".
The 18th century prose was rich and engaging. It took a while to read because each page was full of the twists and turns in the plot. Most people didn't pick Tabitha as the narrator til the end, which was full of surprises but satisfying too. At last we knew what Mr Smith's secret was. We enjoyed the historical facts about New York mid 18th century when it had a population of 7,000.
Another success! All really enjoyed 'Golden Hill'. Not an easy read but very clever writing with a plot twisting and turning until the end - with history of life in NY in the 18th century.
Ratings for this book varied within our group from a grudging 6, to an enthusiastic 9. This led to an interesting discussion. All agreed the characters were very well drawn, and Tabitha in particular struck a chord with us all. Highly recommended.