Book Talk: Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

" 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

The BookWalker

In this satisfying 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.

About the Book

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.

Reviews & What Readers Say

"What would summer be without an Elin Hilderbrand novel? I hope we never need to find out. One beautiful June day, Nantucket writer Vivi Howe is killed in a hit-and-run accident. She is now in the afterlife, being guided by her “Person,” who grants Vivi three nudges to push her grieving family and friends toward the right choices in the summer months following her death. And while Golden Girl introduces more fantasy that previous Hilderbrand novels, it has her trademark style, wit, complicated characters, and drool-worthy food descriptions. Golden Girl, Hilderbrand’s 27th novel, has a bit of a swan song feel to it—it was intended to be her last novel—and it’s possible this golden girl gets better with every book."

Sarah Gelman, Amazon Book Review

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.


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


“ Hilderbrand steers this tightly written novel with ease and skill. . . . Less a story about a secretive affair and more a tale of sweet nostalgia and fate, this title will be popular with a wide audience.”

Library Journal

Nobody Ever Asked Me about the Girls: Women, Music and Fame

Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

Little, Brown and Company

384 pages

ISBN 978-0316420082

Note: Now available. Click here

About the Author

Elin Hilderbrand first discovered the magic of Nantucket in July 1993. Her recipe for a happy island life includes running, writing at the beach, picnics at Eel Point with her three children, and singing "Home, Sweet Home" at the Club Car piano bar. Here's to Us is her seventeenth novel.

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