Synopsis of Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
While out for a morning jog, novelist Vivian Howe is struck and dies. Her ex-husband JP and best friend Savannah, along with the rest of Nantucket and her three adult children Willa, Carson, and Leo, are all in shock.
Everything in their lives is turned on its head. What are they going to do now that she’s gone?
Vivi is able to reach the afterlife. There she meets her Person, an angel or spiritual guide by the name of Martha. Martha is fantastic and tells Vivi she can be the summer babysitter for everyone until Labor Day. Like a genie, she has three “nudges” at her disposal.
Unbeknownst to anyone, she is able to intervene in the lives of her loved ones as she watches them from a distance and alter the course of events. She has to leave them so they may get on with their lives after Labor Day arrives and she applies the nudges.
Review of Golden Girl
While I have enjoyed many of Hilderbrand’s novels, this one struck a chord with me unlike any of her others. The author known as the “queen of the beach read” has bared her soul in her writing for all to see and feel.
Willa, who is married to Rip, may be experiencing her third miscarriage. She is concealing the fact that she is in the early stages of a new pregnancy out of worry. Carson is a rebellious teen who stays out late every night drinking and doing drugs. Leo’s relationship with his girlfriend has soured recently, and the strain is beginning to show.
After Vivi passes away, JP and Savannah share their sorrow. Before that point, they rarely talked to one another. Because misery truly does love company, the two quickly get close to one another. However, Vivi hopes they can get closer to one another.
Chief Ed Kapenash is looking into who hit Vivi, and all signs point to Cruz DeSantis. Cruz has been Leo’s best friend since they were young children, and the Howes have treated him like one of their own ever since Leo’s mother passed away. Then why did he decide to kill her?
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Vivi is concerned about people she has left behind, even though she is keeping a close eye on the action below. However, she is most worried about a secret that appears in her last book, Golden Girl, and has the potential to damage her image. Unexpected circumstances arise, and her loved ones deal with them magnificently, far above Vivi’s wildest hopes.
Hilderbrand allows the reader to form a distinct mental image of every scene. Not only are the tunes unique, but so are the famous places, hot spots, stunning beaches, restaurants, food, and beverages she describes. Fans can’t get enough of her, and she’s made Nantucket a hot spot for vacations.
Like her protagonist, Hilderbrand’s writing is full of wit, sass, fun, and serious overtones.
One such statement is, “We commemorate Mom by forgiving. Do you know how she handles her fictional characters? She makes them fallible and shows them engaging in heinous behavior, yet the reader still adores them. Because Mom adores her children. Simply because of their humanity.”
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This is the first novel of Elin Hilderbrand that has really resonated with me, although I’ve read others. The author who has come to represent the ideal beach read has exposed her own humanity to the world at large. I thought this phrase to be so powerful that I really said, “Oh wow!” aloud: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” This sums up what she is so passionate about.
Never before have I read a book that so perfectly embodies its creator. Well done, Ms. Elin Hilderbrand. Like Vivian, you won’t have to wait to find out if GOLDEN GIRL is a New York Times bestseller. It will, I’m sure of it!