The Queen of Beach Reads

The week her latest novel “Golden Girl” reached the top of The New York Times best-seller list, Elin Hilderbrand is on the phone talking about retirement.

by: John Stanton

photography by: courtesy of Elin Hilderbrand

She has three more novels to write, she says, and a half-dozen film and television projects which may or may not bring the stories from the pages of
her books to the screen. She says 2024 sounds about right to wind things up.

“I’m totally cognizant of the fact that I’m running out of material,” she said. “Nantucket is small. I’ve written a lot of books about it. I don’t want to stretch things until they snap.”
You do not become Queen of the Beach Reads overnight. Hilderbrand has been at this a long time.

“Golden Girl” is her 27th novel. She did not invent the idea of a beach read, something to keep readers turning pages during those long July and August afternoons of sunblock and sand, but she has made a career out of it.

“I think it is like aspirational wish-fulfillment,” she said about the wide geographical spread of her readers. “We live the dream. I write about the dream. And they all want to come. In any kind of coastal area, people go there for the summer and they get their summer reads and I guess they read my books. It’s wonderful.”

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