cover image Last Summer at the Golden Hotel

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel

Elyssa Friedland. Berkley, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-593-19972-5

Friedland (The Floating Feldmans) returns with a well-crafted family dramedy centered on a storied Borscht Belt resort, now in its twilight years. The two families who co-own the Golden Hotel have enjoyed a close, if at times complicated, relationship since its founding in 1960 (matriarchs Fanny Weingold and Louise Goldman have never gotten along, and their families have kept their distance after a disastrous Fourth of July barbecue 10 years earlier). With business declining, the families reunite at the resort to consider a sale. Fancy Westchester mom Aimee Goldman-Glasser arrives with her wayward son and uptight daughter, but not her husband, a doctor who was recently arrested for overprescribing Oxycontin. Brian Weingold, a son of the other founding partner, is now the Golden’s CEO. Once considered the heartthrob of the Catskills, Brian is somewhat adrift after a nasty divorce. A long-smoldering attraction between Aimee and Brian threatens to erupt, and a prospective developer insinuates that relations between the resort’s original founding couples may not have been what they seemed, while Brian’s influencer niece tries to market the hotel to millennials. Friedland brings laughs and nuance to the family foibles, and demonstrates a wide range in her convincing narration from the many points of view. Breezy and charming, this is great fun. Agent: Stefanie Lieberman, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (May)