This is not the first book I have read. It is not even the first book I have ready by Elin Hilderbrand. However, it is the first time I have seen so many people allow one line in the book to determine whether they liked the book. I had forgotten about Vivi’s reference to Anne Frank until I read so many reviews that referenced it. Maybe it was my brain injury that caused me to forget (short-term memory is overrated, after all). The more likely reason is because that one line had absolutely no effect on the story itself. It was a sarcastic comment by a girl straight out of college who wants to be a writer. She is not concerned about appropriateness of her comment. Plus, the comment was made in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, a beautiful time when readers were able to put fiction into context and not be so easily offended. If an adult says she or he has never said something they probably should not have said, that adult is lying.
All this criticism falls under, “Those without sin cast the first stone,” or “People who throw stones shouldn’t live in glass houses.” Should one “ill-advised” (as one reviewer called it) comment define an entire body of work? If so, then any one thing any one of us probably should not have done should define how other people see us. At 52, I have made many mistakes. I have made many “ill-advised” comments. None of which makes me a bad person. Likewise, one comment does not make Golden Girl a bad book.
Elin Hilderbrand is an exceptionally talented author. I have read several of her books, and I enjoyed each one – including Golden Girl. The premise of the story is lovely. We have all lost someone we love. Many of us have found ourselves wondering what that loved one would think of the decisions we have made. We look for a sign to show us that the person we lost is still with us. Golden Girl tells the story of losing a loved one from many points of view.
The dynamic between the siblings is spot on. Elin Hilderbrand expresses the different ways they deal with grief and with each other in a way that is believable. As one of six, I have a rather good understanding of how different siblings can be.
As I expected, Golden Girl is an easy, enjoyable read, great for a trip to the beach. Elin Hilderbrand uses vivid imagery to take her readers to Nantucket. It is a shame that she is being vilified by the morality police who are truly in no position to judge. I will recommend this book to my friends, and I might even give it as gifts.
Great job Elin Hilderbrand! Since I just ordered her next book to be released in 2022, I cannot imagine that she will be retiring any time soon. That is fine with me. All the ridiculousness surrounding Golden Girl just makes me want to create a special place in my library just for her books.