Golden Girl - book cover
  • Publisher : Back Bay Books
  • Published : 08 Feb 2022
  • Pages : 400
  • ISBN-10 : 0316420077
  • ISBN-13 : 9780316420075
  • Language : English

Golden Girl

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.

Editorial Reviews

"Hilderbrand's latest, most philosophical and (I'm declaring it) best novel. . . . The story is a family saga, a mystery and a moving retrospective that manages to be clever without being coy."―Elisabeth Egan, New York Times

"It's not officially summer until Elin Hilderbrand drops her annual page-turner. In this one, novelist Vivi dies in a hit-and-run and ascends to the Beyond, where she learns she has three "nudges" to influence events on earth. In this touching, scenic story, we learn what it is to let go and let life go on."―Good Housekeeping

"It's almost summer, which means Hilderbrand's legions of fans will be anxious for her latest. . . . This is classic Hilderbrand. . . . hopefully, she has many more Nantucket tales in store."―Booklist

"It has suspense, beautiful beach scenes and inspirational anecdotes. You really can't do better than that."―Cosmopolitan

"Golden Girl is surprising, delightful and-dare I say?-quirky. . . . The book is filled with Hilderbrand's trademark gorgeous scenes and delicious dialogue. But Golden Girl also explores the author's own place in the literary pantheon, often with a wink and a nod to the reader. . . . It is funny and heartbreaking, and even though it's in some ways a departure for Hilderbrand, the novel still offers plenty of that Nantucket air to keep you turning pages."―BookPage

"Beautifully uplifting . . . an emotionally powerful story. Faithful readers have come to depend on Hilderbrand's top-notch escapist fiction that puts lively, dramatic new spins on families challenged by love and loss. Golden Girl will exceed their expectations."―Shelf Awareness

"Hilderbrand's writing is witty, spunky, fun and dramatic."―Book Reporter


"Summer on Hilderbrand's Nantucket is never dull. This time she focuses on former lovers who now lead separate lives but share an island idyll once a year. Captivating and bittersweet."―People

"In her 25th novel, Hilderbrand gets everything right and leaves her ardent fans hungry for No. 26. Hilderbrand sets the gold standard in escapist fiction."―

Readers Top Reviews

KellyJ. S-S
Another lovely tale from Nantucket, weaving some characters from some of her other books. Although technically a tragedy, it works things out satisfactorily with a couple of nice twists to keep you from being complacent in having worked it all out. I've never been disappointed by an Elin Hilderbrand book 🙂
ZarlaKellyJ. S-S
I don't usually like Lovely Bones type narratives but Elin pulls this off, perhaps because Vivi is clearly herself: born in 1969, successful beach read novelist, divorced from a popular Nantucket figure, three teenage/early 20s children. Characters continue to be defined via their signature dishes and Nickel wins the prize for most fillings in a sandwich.
D. C. A. PriceZar
Not sure if I’ve ever given Elin Hildebrand just four stars before as I love her books, and really enjoyed this one too, but didn’t enjoy the “Vivi in Heaven” scenario at all. I felt the book didn’t really need it, but clearly other readers appreciated it, so …. It was only towards the end of the novel that I began to guess what had happened so thought-provoking. I love Ms Hildebrand’s style of writing and descriptions of the beautiful island of Nantucket and its varied residents. Can’t wait for the next Hildebrand novel ….
LEPD. C. A. Price
Unusual novel in that the main character is dead, but very enjoyable. Vivi Howe, aged 51, is a successful novelist, divorced with three children aged from 18 to 24 years and living on Nantucket Island. One day she is returning home after a run and is knocked down and killed by a hit and run driver, who then sped off. As she has died before her time, the powers that be in heaven allow her to observe her family and friends from afar for several weeks and give her 3 nudges that she can use to alter events about to happen to her family. I like this author's books and particularly liked this one.
What a sloppy read. I was hoping for a good story - a good summer read. Nope. This has been painfully hard to finish. Why did she mess with her formula?

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