Rated of 5
by Barbara G. (Lisle, IL) A Golden Tale
Abigail Tarttelin tackles with compassion the unlikely tale of an intersex individual who identifies as a male, but could be either. We are introduced to Max, the high school Golden Boy who hides a terrible secret. This book would appeal to anyone interested in questions of sexuality and acceptance, but told from multiple viewpoints as each character has his or her own section.
Rated of 5
by Patricia S. (New Canaan, CT) Choices and Controls
The novel, alternating between the voices of the 6 main characters, brings more depth to the story, enabling us to this view this story of choices and controls quite intimately. That the author is only 25 and can write about such sensitive matter so maturely led me to re-read the novel--and I loved it even more the second time. This would make an excellent book club discussion, bearing in mind the suitability of its sensitive nature. As a nurse and a mother, I say KUDOS to Abigail Tarttelin! It's a rare book that comes along that stirs me as much as GOLDEN BOY did. I look forward to her next book.
Rated of 5
by Marta M. (Santa Ana, CA) Golden book
Told from different perspectives, this book is golden in many ways. Max is a popular high school boy. He is captain of his football league, girls are drawn to him, he gets good grades, and he is kind even to his annoying little brother. But Max has a secret, he is intersex. He is exactly half and half. The story goes deeply into his and his family's feelings about this. His family and him haven't spoken about this situation at all and this fact creates most of the dramatic situation here. Even though I learned a lot about people who are intersex, I learned a lot more about communication within families. How having a secret, even though you are trying to protect someone, will blow up in your face at the most inopportune times. I highly recommend this book. It is easy to read and not forgettable.
Rated of 5
by Claire M. (Sarasota, FL) Golden Boy
The younger, not yet so golden brother of the protagonist Max says "You may be different like me, Max, but the good news is that we're living in a world of different people." A wonderfully prescient view from a 10 year old that should be a part of the thinking of most all of us living in the present age. Why do we cling to "normal" and fear the "other", the different? This novel certainly has raised those questions for me while reading about what is now called a middlesex person. We have so narrowly defined sex and gender that any minute deviation drives some people to condemnation and yet we live in an age where fertility drugs, surrogate birthers, sperm donors, in vitro fertilisation, ultra sound, sexual identification and other interventions are considered normal. These interventions are accepted as the results might not be. I loved reading this novel seeing how accepting one's own very different being growing up in a family conflicted by it could bring sense and acceptance by those who could appreciate the sliding scale of different.
Rated of 5
by Dorothy L. (Boca Raton, FL) A Mixed Review
Initially I found this book disturbing. I don't think it will have universal appeal, but I do think it is an interesting treatment of a subject many readers are not that familiar with. I did get caught up in the story fairly soon and wanted to know how it would turn out. The author uses a fairly common premise--a family with secrets. This secret was a big one and had tremendous ramifications for many people. I have a few criticisms of the book. It is not particularly well written. The style is simplistic--many of the sentences are subject-verb formulation. There is little variation in sentence structure which made it somewhat tedious to read. The constant jumping around in points of view engaged the reader but was disjointed because the viewpoints were being changed too often.
I found it implausible that today a man would run for office with such a big family secret and endanger his family in the process and that there were no problems earlier in Max's life. There also needed to be a backstory for Hunter and Max's relationship that led to the rape.
I am somewhat ambivalent about the book but feel that it may be a worthwhile addition to knowledge about intersex and the family dynamics that result.
Rated of 5
by Sheryl R. (DeQuincy, LA) Family drama (with a twist)
I love novels, biographies, and memoirs that delve into a family's inner workings, and I've read many of them over the years. This one, however, is the first I've ever seen that deals with the issue of intersexed individuals. Max, the adolescent at the center of the story, is intersexed and also is the family and community's "Golden Boy". The author, Abigail Tarttelin, was new to me (indeed, this is only her second book), but I was most impressed by her treatment of the sexuality issues in the book. It is apparent she has done her homework and it would not surprise me to find that she has some personal knowledge of how these issues affect a family.
The book is written in the voices of each family member and other characters in the plot, a style I often enjoy. The characters seem well-developed and their reactions seem extremely realistic and understandable to me, given their personalities and roles as described by the author.
The book was easy to read and provided much new insight and food for thought into the issue of intersexuality. I'd highly recommend it!
Amazon cuts off 5200 affiliates in Minnesota(Jun 19 2013) With Minnesota's online sales tax law due to take effect July 1, Amazon has played a familiar card by cutting ties with 5,200 members of its Associates...