In this #1 bestselling page-turner from "the queen of beach reads" (New York Magazine), a Nantucket novelist has one final summer to protect her secrets while her loved ones on earth learn to live without their golden girl.
On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she's assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.
From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.
With all of Elin’s trademark beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and picture-perfect homes, plus a heartfelt message—the people we lose never really leave us—Golden Girl is a beach book unlike any other.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In this moving romantic fantasy, an author gets the chance to rewrite her own story over the course of one golden summer. Divorced novelist Vivi was killed in a hit-and-run, but she isn’t quite finished with life on earth. In the afterlife, she’s given three chances to influence the world she’s leaving behind. Should she use them to help her struggling adult children? To hide evidence of her own youthful indiscretion? Elin Hilderbrand fills Vivi’s story with romance, nostalgia, and heartwarming lessons about the importance of letting go. Plus there’s all the sun-drenched Nantucket beauty we expect from the beach-read queen. More than just a sweetly sentimental diversion, Golden Girl is the kind of book you tell all your friends about as soon as you’re done.
Hilderbrand (The Beach Club) expertly tugs at the heartstrings with this fantastical story of an unexpected death. After Nantucket novelist Vivi Howe is killed in a hit-and-run, her family and friends are left reeling, among them her pregnant daughter, Willa; her hard-partying daughter, Carson; her son, Leo; and feckless ex-husband, JP. An H rmes scarf wearing guardian spirit named Martha allows Vivi the chance to watch over them until the end of the summer, and allows her three "nudges" to keep them from harm. As the summer progresses and her loved ones struggle, Vivi learns her children's secrets and considers using a "nudge" to intervene on Carson's relationship with an older man. She also watches as her ex-husband finally accepts that taking on a mistress was an epic mistake, and, with Martha's help, begins to move on into the afterlife. Hilderbrand has a talent for creating characters that etch themselves onto readers' hearts, and delivers a big, well-earned surprise with the hit-and-run driver's identity. Strong supporting characters, notably a long-ago ex from Vivi's past, add texture. Hilderbrand's enchanting, emotional novel will delight her many fans.
Not my favorite of her novels but still a good read.
Great summer read
I will admit, I heard so many good things about this book, I couldn’t wait to read it. Vivian Howe, an author, living in Nantucket, is killed by a hit and run driver while out on her morning jog. She leaves behind three grieving children, all with their own issues and now having to deal with the loss of their mother. She also leaves behind her best friend Savannah, an ex husband JP and a novel getting ready to be published.
The story has several different narrators, but stays consistent with what’s going on within the story. The hit and run, though it is part of the story, is actually not the crux of it. The crux of the story is when Vivi arrives in the Beyond, she is given three nudges to assist the people she cares about and is only given the summer to use them, but she must use them judiciously. Fortunately for Vivi she’s given someone to aid her through the process.
Each one of the characters within the story have their own flaws, their own secrets, grieves in their own way, and handles adversity differently which keeps the story interesting and keeps the reader engaged. Also threaded within the story is the fact that Vivi herself had a secret she never shared with any of them.
Elin Hilderbrand has woven a story so enthralling that you will have a hard time putting this book down. Hildebrand’s characters are people most readers can identify with and relate to. This is the first book book I’ve read by this author and definitely plan on reading more.
This is definitely a great summer read, but truly is just a really good book to read anytime.
Golden Girl gets and Oscar
I have read all of Elin’s books. She is my favorite author. This one, however, takes the cake. So many parallels to my own life I was awestruck several times while reading. As usual the character development (and food description!) is so good it’s hard to walk away from my new friends. Can’t wait to read it again!