Last Summer at the Golden Hotel

This feel-good read (384 pages) was published in May of 2021 by Berkley Books. The book takes you to a resort hotel in the Catskills. Melissa read Last Summer at the Golden Hotel and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

buy is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and give back to the book community.


Last Summer at the Golden Hotel

Elyssa Friedland

If Dirty Dancing was a book instead of a movie, and was set now instead of in the 1960s, it could be this novel. Welcome to the beloved Golden Hotel.

In its glory days after WWII, the Golden Hotel was the place to be in the Catskills. Families from the City loaded into their shiny sedans and made their way to the mountains for swimming and fishing, dance lessons, gourmet meals, and — if things went right — a little romance on the heart-shaped hot tub in the moonlight.

But the Catskills are not the glamorous destination they used to be.

The Goldman and Weingold families have been through a lot together during their 60 years of running the hotel. Now they’re all back together at the Golden for a family reunion and to make an important decision: Has the time come to sell the hotel and move on with their lives?

This story has everything you could possibly want in a loving, messy family story: the revelation of decades-old secrets, snappy dialogue, financial scandal, a little romance, and some heartbreak — all set against the sentimentality of the faded, but still adored, hotel.

Author Elyssa Friedland creates a fun, frothy 1930s screwball comedy vibe that delightfully careens into sincerely emotional beats. It’s sparkling, fun, and moving with a very satisfying conclusion. It will make you nostalgic for a bygone era and yearn for a stay at the Golden.

Whatever the future of the Golden Hotel, it will be the home of many beloved memories for thousands of families who played bridge in its oak-paneled game room, partook in the famous Sunday bagel and lox brunches, lounged in the heart-shaped hot tub, were regaled by some of the country’s top artistic talent, or simply cozied up with a good book in the well-stocked library. —Elyssa Friedland

sharing is caring!

Wanna help us spread the word? If you like this page, please share with your friends.

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.

This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.
follow us

Content on this site is © 2021 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.