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Midwest Book Mom Presents: Character Interview with Vivian Howe from Golden Girl

Book Rating: ★ ★ ★

Today, we have Vivian Howe (Vivi), a character written by Elin Hilderbrand from her novel Golden Girl published June 2021. Vivi is a proud resident of Nantucket and well-known author of thirteen beach novels. She’s also a mother of nearly three grown children; Leo, Carson, and Willa, all named after Vivi’s favorite authors.


Vivi, I wanted to say thank you for coming down from above to talk about Golden Girl. When I say above, I mean you literally died five minutes into the book. How surprised were you about your untimely death?

(Vivi): Thank you. Honestly, I was taken by surprise to have died so soon! I was out for a run around Nantucket early in the morning. A song I haven’t heard in years came on when…BAM! I became a victim of a hit and run. I was devastated.

I can’t imagine the devastation. Who helped your transition from the world to the beyond?

(Vivi): Thankfully, my person Martha, she’s a wonderful woman who looks flawless in scarves, she was there waiting for me. We went to this fabulous room where I could view how my children and loved ones were moving on without me. She also gave me three nudges where I could give a slight “nudge” with their side plots.

From the character to the writer, what can you say about Elin Hilderbrand in writing this novel?

(Vivi): Oh! My girl Elin, she showed off her talents in describing my home, Nantucket. She lives there too, you know. Elin describes Nantucket vividly like you’re there. She and I seem to have similarities, so she wrote what she knew for this novel which I think deserves its credit.

This bring us to the plot of your story, what do think about it?

(Vivi): Elin wrote a dramatic mystery as to who killed me. There’s town gossip and secrets. It’s a juicy plot story leading up to the big final of “who dunnit”. Watching my children’s side plots in connecting to the main part of the story was intriguing. I’m grateful to have played a small part in the side stories. Elin did a impressive work providing the dialog for each character, including me.

Your children were moving along in the story. You also have an ex-husband, his “mistress”, a boyfriend, and several other characters. I found myself shaking my head when it came to their choices. What about you?

(Vivi): They are pretty typical characters going through the loss of me, which sometimes tragic events in life can lead us to bad decisions. It does build their character and each character does learn to grow or adapt to change.

Final question as I think the choir is beginning to sing. There’s a controversial reference to Anne Frank in the novel. What are your thoughts, and do you think it could have been changed?

(Vivi): Quite a few people aren’t too pleased about this. There could have been a better way of writing this comparison in the novel. Perhaps knowing now what Elin didn’t know then, she’d respect her readers and make the change. Overall, it doesn’t completely deteriorate the novel, but it could have been revised differently.


My wrap-up conclusion to Golden Girl is this novel is a quick read filled with drama, gossip, and some mystery. The reason I chose this novel was the curiosity of seeing how a dead character continues to have dialog in the story. The character development was present, but I didn’t feel connected to the characters. I felt like I was listening to the life of the Kardashians and I’m sorry…but I don’t care about the Kardashians. The main plot does progress forward, but the ending felt like a straight fall to the final page…then told thanks for riding, purchase your picture over there, please.

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick read, this may fill your cup. However, I do know Elin Hilderbrand has other wonderful novels I’ve heard are better and my reason for 3 starts. If you want your own opinion, Golden Girl is available on Amazon and Audible narrated by Erin Bennet who does a wonderful work in giving the characters their voices.


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Book Rating

Excellent/ Highly Recommend
Great/ Recommended
Good Story
Okay / Struggle to Finish
Meh / Did Not Finish
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