Golden Child: Book summary and reviews of Golden Child by Claire Adam

Golden Child

A Novel

by Claire Adam

Golden Child by Claire Adam X
Golden Child by Claire Adam
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Jan 29, 2019
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

A deeply affecting debut novel set in Trinidad, following the lives of a family as they navigate impossible choices about scarcity, loyalty, and love.

Rural Trinidad: a brick house on stilts surrounded by bush; a family, quietly surviving, just trying to live a decent life. Clyde, the father, works long, exhausting shifts at the petroleum plant in southern Trinidad; Joy, his wife, looks after the home. Their two sons, thirteen years old, wake early every morning to travel to the capital, Port of Spain, for school. They are twins but nothing alike: Paul has always been considered odd, while Peter is widely believed to be a genius, destined for greatness.

When Paul goes walking in the bush one afternoon and doesn't come home, Clyde is forced to go looking for him, this child who has caused him endless trouble already, and who he has never really understood. And as the hours turn to days, and Clyde begins to understand Paul's fate, his world shatters—leaving him faced with a decision no parent should ever have to make.

Like the Trinidadian landscape itself, Golden Child is both beautiful and unsettling; a resoundingly human story of aspiration, betrayal, and love.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Golden Child swells with wisdom about masculinity, family, violence and sacrifice. I read it in a sitting, gripping the pages, nails chewed down by the final word. An intense, heart-breaking debut." - Daniel Magariel, author of One of the Boys

"Golden Child is a stunning novel written with force and beauty. Though true to herself, Adam's work stands tall beside icons of her tradition like V.S. Naipaul." - Jennifer Clement, author of Gun Love

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Reader Reviews

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Amy S. (Tucson, AZ)

Packs the Wallop of a Hurricane
The number one determining factor for me in choosing a book is the setting. I love learning about places I have never been or know very little about. And, yes, some of the things I learn about new places are tough, and heartbreaking, and they make me angry. But the unhappy, ugly, heartbreaking stories MUST BE TOLD too.

The book moved slowly for me. And it worked. In a land of hot, humid, oppressive heat, stories take longer to tell. And Claire Adam told it beautifully. She didn't show us the glorious warmth of a beach vacation. This heat was suffocating. It held me down. It made me uncomfortable. That is powerful writing.

And it built until it exploded- -into a horrific crisis for an entire family, but particularly for the father, who was forced to make a decision no parent should have to. And then later for a son and brother who really knew the true cost of his dream.

Elizabeth K. (Dallas, TX)

Rich, complex, and compelling story
Claire Adam is an exceptional writer. Her descriptions and characters were so true-to-life that I felt like I was inside the story. Once I started I had to find out what happened to Paul and to his family. Although the ending is bittersweet, this book is an example of transcendent contemporary writing.

Gail H. (Live Oak, FL)

Glimpses into West Indian Culture
At first, this book was a bit slow & I didn't know if I could be drawn into it. However, I was quite glad that I persevered as the novel began to pull me in more and more. Claire Adam skillfully outlined the lives of Clyde, Joy, and their twins, Peter & Paul, and how they were intertwined with their extended family and the community. The author made me want to learn more about Trinidad and its inhabitants. I would certainly recommend this book to others.

Lynn D. (Kingston, NY)

Family hopes and struggles
This is a compelling novel that drew me into the story right from the beginning. A Hindu family, with twin sons, Peter and Paul, is working hard to survive in rural Trinidad. Education is highly valued and one son is considered gifted and the other is considered slow. A crime, and betrayal, force the family to consider heartbreaking choices. There is much to consider in this story- family, trust, safety, the expectations we have of each other. I enjoyed the writing which is from several points of view. The sense of place is well developed. I would highly recommend this novel for book clubs. I hope Claire Adam writes more novels.

Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)

Choices
Sometimes parents have to make difficult decisions regarding their children. That is exactly what Clyde and Joy had to do regarding their twin sons, Peter and Paul. The turmoil over their decision was very difficult and parents everywhere could have empathy for them. Well written and I highly recommend reading this novel.

Rose N. (Saginaw, MI)

Choices
The Deyalsingh family from Trinidad is blessed with the birth of male twins...one considered a genius and the other seemingly a bit 'slow'. As years progress, the hard-working patriarch of the family is faced with a choice that will change his loving family forever and will leave the reader unable to stop reading until the very last word of the very last page. There are so many ideas presented in 'The Golden Child' that beg to be shared and discussed. Among these are education, crime and family life in Trinidad.

Claire Adam has given us a well-written, riveting story that will remain with the reader for a long, long time!

...30 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Claire Adam Author Biography

photo: Tricia Keracher-Summerfield

Claire Adam was born and raised in Trinidad. She studied Physics at Brown University and later took an M.A. in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. She lives in London. Golden Child is her debut novel.

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