Golden Child

Golden Child

A Novel

Book - 2019
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A deeply affecting debut novel set in Trinidad, following the lives of a family as they navigate impossible choices about scarcity, loyalty, and love

WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE * " 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

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.

Praise for Golden Child

"In fluid and uncluttered prose, Golden Child weaves an enveloping portrait of an insular social order in which the claustrophobic support of family and neighbors coexists with an omnipresent threat from the same corners." -- The New York Times Book Review

"[A] powerful debut . . . a devastating family portrait--and a fascinating window into Trinidadian society." -- People

"[An] emotionally potent debut novel . . . with a spare, evocative style, Adam (a Trinidad native) evokes the island's complexity during the mid-'80s, when the novel is mostly set: the tenuous relationship between Hindus like Clyde's family and the twins' Catholic schoolmaster, assassinations and abductions hyped by lurid media headlines, resources that attract carpetbagging oil companies but leave the country largely impoverished." -- USA Today
Publisher: New York : SJP for Hogarth, [2019]
Edition: First United States edition.
ISBN: 9780525572992
Branch Call Number: ADAM C
Characteristics: 281 pages ; 22 cm


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Apr 08, 2019

"Beautiful and unsettling," as one reviewer described "Golden Child?" How about: Depressing, meandering and rather pointless? I really don't grasp the accolades for Adam's debut novel. It's heartbreaking, because the one character who was sufficiently fleshed out is slowly destroyed from the inside out, then from the outside in. This isn't beautiful!

Jan 20, 2019

A Sophie's choice set in rural Trinidad; a book for readers who enjoy the writing of a novel, as Adam misses the opportunity to make any of our characters -- even poor Paul -- resonate. What a stunner this book could have been, touching on class, family, jealousy, and corruption, if we had only been able to better know the players.


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