Thank you to the publisher for sending me a free copy of the book.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
By now you’ve probably read plenty of reviews explaining how beautiful and heart wrenching this book is, and I absolutely agree. But instead of rehashing the minutiae of the plot line, I want to focus on how this story was told. Because that’s how I ended up fully immersed in this one.
I’ll admit that as excited as I was to read Golden Child, I was nervous about whether or not I’d be able to connect with the characters. The story is told through all male voices, and I don’t always connect to this type of storytelling. (Characters are my doorway into a story, so I’m a reader who needs some kind of connection to be made with them in order to enjoy it.) I’m happy to say it was not a struggle. What I especially loved about it was the fact that the narration didn’t come through just one character. We hear the story through several different voices, all of whom are adding details and intricate layers, which succeeded in pulling me further into their lives. So while the synopsis may lead you to believe that Clyde, the father, is the narrator of the story, that’s only a partial truth.
In addition to the voices of the story, there’s also the play on the timeline that really helps this story pack a punch. It’s not linear, simply starting with Paul’s disappearance and progressing to his outcome. Yes, it does start with his disappearance, but it bounces around. Adam takes the reader back through portions of Paul’s childhood, told through his voice as well as others’, and it adds great dimension and context. I really enjoy this type of storytelling.
And finally, I’m always reading to learn. There are people, places, cultures, lifestyles, etc, that I will never have the opportunity to experience or interact with, so the chance to take a trip to Trinidad thanks to Claire Adam and her storytelling was an opportunity I so greatly appreciated. Her setting descriptions were so vivid, I could feel the sweat, I could hear the dogs whimpering behind the fences, I could smell the incense and cigarette smoke in the maxi taxi.
Now that this review has taken up a full hour of your day, I’ll summarize by saying this: if there is even an inkling of interest sparked in you by the synopsis or my review, grab yourself a copy of Golden Child and dive in. If you’ve already read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Highly recommend. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
***GIVEAWAY*** I’m excited to be partnering with TLC Book Tours and SJP for Hogarth to share a copy of Golden Child with one of you! To enter is simple: comment on my review with a recommendation of your own – anything that you feel really passionately about that you’d love to see more people reading. Bonus entries will be given for completing any or all of the following (let me know which you’re doing in your comment): following my Bookstagram page, following my blog (the site you’re visiting right now), following Claire Adam on her social media pages (links are listed below), following TLC Book Tours, and/or following Hogarth. Limited to US addresses only. Giveaway will close on Saturday, 2/16/19 at 11:59 PM CST. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond, or the book will be forfeited to the next name drawn. Good luck!
Book stats: Hardcover, 288 pages, SJP for Hogarth, January 29, 2019