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Nan G. (Mazomanie, WI)
Difficult subject handled with grace
As a mental health professional who has worked extensively with trangender clients, I was curious, and more than a little apprehensive about reading Golden Boy. Curious as to how the author would approach a subject not often addressed in any form, apprehensive for the very same reason. Twenty pages in and I was hooked. Tarttelin's grasp of the subject, the sensitivity and grace with which she created characters (in particular Max), her portrayal of a young person coming to terms with who he is and parents whose love for a child takes them in different directions--all combined to create a highly readable and ultimately, a very moving novel.
Susan H. (Chappaqua, NY)
For the most part I enjoyed this book but as a parent I could not understand how the parents in this book chose not to do anything about the child's sexuality at birth. How can you leave this to a teen when teens have enough "stuff" to deal without extra body parts!!! I also thought the book got a bit out there with the pregnancy and whether to keep the baby... A little much.
Diane M. (Walden, NY)
A story about a family trying to be perfect but holding a secret. Max, the "golden boy" - star athlete, handsome, intelligent - is intersex. A well kept secret until a childhood friend reveals it. What happens to the golden boy and his family afterwards is the basis for this story. I personally didn't like but it was a good story. I haven't read anything else like it. I would recommend only because someone might like it because of the theme.
Malinda N. (Wheeling, WV)
This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. As a reader you will "fall for" Max just as every one else in the story does. There are so many turns and twists to the story that one is immediately captivated and remains so until the last page. The relationships and dynamics of this family are heartbreaking as they struggle to deal with the "uniqueness" of Max's intersex condition. The decisions and turmoil that weigh on Max provide ample room for discussion. Fantastic book!
Joanne V. (Towanda, PA)
A very interesting read
I read this book in two days after returning from Christmas vacation. It was one of the most interesting reads and it stays with you. It is told from several perspectives, which normally I don't care for, but in this case it just made the story more compelling. I felt so much for all the characters, especially Max and how he grows and learns to cope with being "different". I would recommend it for high school reading as well as for a book club. I think there would be a lot of good discussion since so few are familiar with the issues in this novel. I certainly learned a lot! Highly recommended!
Mary C. (Carmel, Indiana)
Golden Boy is the story of a happy successful English family. Their life is idyllic, but they guard a secret, their elder son, Max, is a an intersex, neither a boy nor a girl.
Caryl L. (Williamsburg, VA)
What a secret for child keep; what a challenge for the parents. How do they know they are doing the right thing? And is there a "right thing?
The author draws you into their lives and sweeps you to the dramatic conclusion. This book is fast paced and even suspenseful, sometimes funny, and always interesting. There is a lot to discuss here for a book club, about parents and children, and about differences and intolerance.
This is a different kind of book. A young man(Max) is dealing with his coming of age problems with a very complex problem. He is intersex.
Valerie C. (Chico, CA)
Mother and Father disagree with how to handle this. Who is right and who is wrong or is there a solution? Why did they wait so long?
How does Max handle it? Add to that a little brother and a girlfriend.
It is written, rather than in chapter form, as each character states his feelings.
I must admit that I thought I would not like it. But as things moved along, I found that I became more interested in the and how each one deals with it. Not a page turner, but an interesting subject.
if it weren't January I would say this is one of the best books I've read this year. So, I'll say its one of the best I've read in the last 12 months. Similar to Jodi Picoult, the author takes on exploring the deep emotions and thoughts of the human condition confronted with common and not so common issues.