Books I Love! Elin Hilderbrand’s Golden Girl Explores the Afterlife

I waited all summer for this book. I requested it from my library before its June 1st publication date and received it in October. It was well worth the wait! Elin Hilderbrand continues to grow as an author, extending her range and taking on topics outside of her usual Nantucket beach read.

Book Description

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.

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.

My Take

Elin is on brand in this novel that explores the afterlife, what happens when a woman is killed by a hit and run driver, unexpectedly ripped away from her family in the prime of life. Imagine being given three chances, three “nudges”, to affect your loved ones’ decisions in the immediate aftermath of your death. Vivi gets to be a silent bystander in the summer following her death, listening in on her family’s conversations, observing their every move, with the opportunity to affect their actions. We see their heartache and grief, learn their deepest secrets. All amid the gorgeous descriptions of life on Nantucket Island as only Elin can write it. Highly recommended for lovers of women’s fiction, Nantucket, and Elin Hilderbrand.

About the Author

Elin Hilderbrand is the proud mother of three, a dedicated Peloton rider, an aspiring book influencer, and an enthusiastic at-home cook (follow her on Instagram @elinhilderbrand to watch her Cringe Cooking Show). She is also a grateful seven-year breast cancer survivor. GOLDEN GIRL is her 27th novel.

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