I’m sure I say this every time I read a new Elin Hilderbrand novel, but I’m going to say it once again. This is my new favorite Elin Hilderbrand book. It carries all of Elin’s trademark drama, scandal, and beach read goodness, while also being set in Nantucket, the place her readers have come to know and love through her novels. In Golden Girl, we see well known Nantucket restaurants and shops which Elin herself frequents, such as Mitchell’s Book Corner and The Chicken Box. The main character in this book, Vivian Howe, has so many similarities to Elin herself, that it was almost eerie to read the book, imagining Elin as Vivian. it got me wondering if any of the backstory about Vivian was based on Elin’s actual backstory. Like Elin, Vivian is divorced and has 3 children, lives on Nantucket, and has authored over a dozen beach reads. They even drink the same Veuve Clicquot champagne, wear Jessica Hicks jewelry and love Mystique sandals. It’s been a joy to follow Elin on her social media for so many years and be able to recognize all of her favorite things that are loved by her characters. She even has Vivian recommend two books to another character near the end of the novel that Elin herself recommend to her readers on her social media – Hamnet and Sea Wife. I read both and loved them, based upon Elin’s recommendation! Very cool to see little sprinkles of Elin’s life shine through in the dynamically drawn character of Vivian.
New York Times bestselling author, Vivian Howe is in her 50’s, living her best life in Nantucket, anxiously anticipating the release of her new beach read titled Golden Girl, when she is killed tragically in a hit and run accident while out on her daily run through the neighborhood. After such a sudden, heartbreaking loss, Vivi’s family, best friend Savannah, ex-husband, recent boyfriend, and the whole Nantucket community are reeling, as they try to piece together what really happened to their very own Golden Girl. Hilderbrand’s beloved character, Chief Ed Kapenash makes an appearance in Golden Girl, as he works to investigate the hit and run and bring closure to Vivi’s family. Meanwhile in the Beyond, Vivi, is assigned to a lady named Martha who will be her “Person,” helping her through the summer and allowing her three nudges as she watches over her children for one final summer before joining the Heavenly Choir. Martha and her backstory is a bit of hoot in itself, causing me to laugh out loud when it was revealed. Secrets are uncovered as Vivi watched over her three children, Willa, Carson, and Leo. Each have their own drama going on, causing Vivi to be rather selective in the use of her motherly nudges from the Beyond.
Hilderbrand’s 27th novel, Golden Girl is a beautiful tribute to honor those who are gone too soon. It’s also a love letter to both summer time and Nantucket. There are both hilarious and heartfelt moments. There is also tender romance, scandalous affairs, and complicated sibling relationships, which all combine to make a compulsively binge-able novel. Golden Girl is truly Elin at her finest. Absolutely adored this book and I hope you do as well. This will publish on June 1, 2021.
Thank you to LibroFM and Hachette Audio for providing me with an early listening copy of this amazing book in exchange for an honest review.