Along with other Amazon Prime members, each month I get the chance to get a free ebook (or reduced paperback) from a selection ahead of publication. This month I spotted that one of those on offer was a short story by Jennifer Weiner, an author whose books I’ve read and enjoyed before. Golden Hills is an Amazon Original Story officially due out on 1st June and is available to pre-order now if you don’t have Amazon Prime: Golden Hills
About the book
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a heartfelt short story about a complicated friendship and a youthful betrayal that still has the power to shape two women’s lives.
Senatorial favourite Ida Berkowitz is headed for a win. Raised by a hardworking widowed mother, she’s authentic, relatable, and down-to-earth. Voters love her. Polls promise victory. Then her campaign manager utters four awful words: Who is Marissa Schuyler? She had almost managed to forget. Ida’s bunkmate at Camp Golden Hills when they were girls, Marissa was confident, sophisticated, and wealthy. Everything Ida wasn’t. Now the polished wife of a major conservative donor, Marissa’s announced a press conference. About Ida.
Just like that, Ida’s old insecurities come rushing in. So do new feelings of dread. After all these years, she knows what’s on Marissa’s mind. It could undermine everything Ida’s worked for. Because it isn’t very pretty.
I really enjoyed this short story about Ida, a hard-working and principled candidate for the US Senate. An ex-teacher she is determined to do her best to create a better world for the people she represents but it looks like it’s all going to come tumbling down when someone from her past announces she’s going to take part in a press conference about her the next day.
Jennifer Weiner takes us back to when Ida attends summer camp in 2004, a summer camp with a difference. Everyone there is there to lose weight. This group of people who would be outsiders in their own communities suddenly are all normal and the usual kind of friendships, rivalries, love interests and jealousies emerge as they would with any other group of teens. Ida and Marissa, despite being from very different social backgrounds become good friends. But of course, there’s a boy who comes between them which leads to something Ida would rather not come to light! Like all of us, Ida is very different to the girl she was at sixteen and I so hoped that whatever emerged wouldn’t damage her chances in the election.
The characters were all really well written and I enjoyed reading about the relationships particularly between the young people at the summer camp. The story isn’t without its surprises, even though it was quite short. It’s a great quick read about coming of age friendships and sisterhood. We really see how Ida has grown as a person from an insecure teenager to a strong and confident woman. I had forgotten just how much I enjoy Jennifer Weiner’s sparkling writing and Golden Hills has put me in the mood to read another of her novels sometime soon.
About the Author
Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nineteen books, including That Summer, Big Summer, Mrs. Everything, In Her Shoes, Good in Bed, and a memoir in essays, Hungry Heart. She has appeared on many national television programs, including the Today show and Good Morning America, and her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, among other newspapers and magazines. Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.
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Oh that does sound like a must read.