What’s this? Two posts in a week from me? Well, I read one of this summer’s most popular titles and I had to share it with you!
Did you grow up on the retro summer feel of Dirty Dancing? Do you love family drama that isn’t your own? Then I’ve got a book for you!
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland released in May, and it’s already hit several “best of” summer reading lists.
A family reunion for the ages when two clans convene for the summer at their beloved getaway in the Catskills—perfect for fans of Dirty Dancing and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—from the acclaimed author of The Floating Feldmans.
In its heyday, The Golden Hotel was the crown jewel of the hotter-than-hot Catskills vacation scene. For more than sixty years, the Goldman and Weingold families – best friends and business partners – have presided over this glamorous resort which served as a second home for well-heeled guests and celebrities. But the Catskills are not what they used to be – and neither is the relationship between the Goldmans and the Weingolds. As the facilities and management begin to fall apart, a tempting offer to sell forces the two families together again to make a heart-wrenching decision. Can they save their beloved Golden or is it too late?
Long-buried secrets emerge, new dramas and financial scandal erupt, and everyone from the traditional grandparents to the millennial grandchildren wants a say in the hotel’s future. Business and pleasure clash in this fast-paced, hilarious, nostalgia-filled story, where the hotel owners rediscover the magic of a bygone era of nonstop fun even as they grapple with what may be their last resort.
Dirty Dancing came out when I was in middle school… although I’m old enough that back then, we called it junior high. I remember my friends and I trying to imitate the dance moves, and wishing we could go away to a resort for the summer.
When I first heard of this book (scrolling through Bookstagram, of course), I got *major* Dirty Dancing vibes. I can’t say the stories are very similar, except for the Catskills resort setting. And perhaps the weighty expectations of family.
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel is a true family saga, with secrets, betrayals, and generational conflict. We follow along for a brief period in the lives of these two families, wondering which marriages will hold up, which secrets will be revealed, and of course, what will happen to the Golden Hotel.
As a mom of a now-adult, I really related to Aimee, although I wouldn’t wish her struggles on anyone. And I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say the ending was just a little bittersweet for me. Things were resolved but perhaps not tied up with a big pretty (and unrealistic) bow… but it felt real.
This book was hilarious, heartwarming, and nostalgic while still feeling very contemporary. I devoured it in one sitting and it was an easy five star read for me. It’s definitely one to add to your list if you’re looking for your next great book of the summer. Happy reading, friends!
Thanks to Net Galley and Berkley for the complimentary digital review copy of this title. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.