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California Golden

In Southern California in the ‘60s, it was only boys out in the lineup to catch waves. . . . That was until Carol Donnelly picked up a board and showed the boys she could ride with the best of them. Pregnant right after high school, she married a guy, and they went on to have two daughters, Mindy and Ginger. When the girls were toddlers, Carol left to chase the surf in Hawaii with a return date nowhere in sight; when the girl's father left, she was called home, and her dreams of being free and chasing the surf came to an end.


Mindy and Ginger, keenly aware that their mother preferred surfing to PTA meetings (who can blame her), had a plan. They decided to become as good at surfing as their mother to keep her from deserting them again, and the three ladies became known as the famous Donnelly sisters. One daughter finds fame, and the other latches on to the wrong man, setting the sisters on remarkably different paths. Based on a true story, this book is an insightful telling of multi-generational trauma between mothers and daughters and their connection to each other, no matter what; it kept me enthralled and reading late into the night.