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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Desmond Elliot Prize 2019

Rural Trinidad: a brick house on stilts surrounded by bush; a family, quietly surviving, just trying to live a decent life in a society.

Clyde, the father, works long, exhausting shifts at the petroleum plant in southern Trinidad; Joy, his wife, looks after the home. Their two sons, 13 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 whom 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.

Claire Adam's devastating first novel compassionately brings to life different ways of experiencing the world. Like the Trinidadian landscape itself, Golden Child is both beautiful and unsettling, a resoundingly human story of aspiration, betrayal and love.

©2019 Claire Adam (P)2019 Faber Audio

What listeners say about Golden Child

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  • Sophia A.
  • 28-05-2019

Heart wrenching

My heart was in my hand throughout the story. It hit close to home as I am Trinidadian living in Trinidad right now and witness to the evil depicted in the novel. The author gave an accurate description of life in Trinidad... rural Trinidad and Port of Spain, the school system, the class structure of the society...

However, I did become confused when the narrator's perspective shifted to what seemed like the children and Clyde and Joy were being referred to as mummy and daddy. I was not sure if it was supposed to be Peter or Paul or both of them. I was also left unfulfilled with the way Paul met his end. I kept thinking that there would be a greater purpose to his existence or that he would have been referred to in the end. I felt like he was sacrificed for a greater good but not acknowledged.

And lastly, the voice talent was effective in portraying emotion in his delivery and drawing me in. Unfortunately, there were times that his voice was so low that I struggled to hear what was being said. Also, he did not accurately deliver the Trinidadian accent (it sounded Jamaican at times), dialect and pronunciation of local words. I am no pro but I suspect that greater supervision (maybe a Trinidadian could have been asked to help ) and maybe training through a dialect coach. There were times that I did not understand readily what was being said and had to replay parts.

All in all, a great piece of work. I look forward to reading more from Claire Adam.

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  • Darian Beharry
  • 07-10-2019

enjoyed the story

Enjoyed the story quite a bit, with rich characters and a vivid portrayal of Trinidad.
The audiobook performance is strong however, some words are mispronounced which takes you out of the story for a moment.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-04-2019

A truly exceptional novel

Paul was a beautifully, intelligent child, with coherent thought and logical processing and analysing ability but lacked social skills and the ability to effectively communicate. He had a learning disability in that he learnt better with flash cards rather than words... His clear, exact thoughts during his kidnapping spoke of his intelligence... I truly believe he was very high in the autistic spectrum. His death, though left to the reader to determine if he was really killed, he prepared himself for by mentally becoming one with the sea... Truly a strong person
Clyde, while as a parent i want to hold him and shake him, coming from a rural village myself, i understand his stance. In his mind Peter was his family's way to a better life. That's why he sold all his possessions to try to save Paul. I think I'm his heart he really believed that his brother in law would not allow him to be hurt.
His decision pained him, but he had given Vishnu his word, and his word was his honor, no matter the cost.
Peter and father did not commit suicide. Joy had found out that they had killed Paul and his body was thrown into the sea. She was told where. That's why she sent Peter. They were Hindus and prayers are usually offered at sea for the final rites. Father seeing the sun behind peters head made him think of Jesus (aren't there pictures depicting him with the sun in the background) this the equating to the golden child.
I agree with other critics, the part 3 was too gruesome and graphic when compared to the general tone of the book but i think she did that to highlight Paul's intelligence...
Excellent book... I hope we get to meet her for the festival...

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-2020

Beautiful book, but wrong accent

I loved this book, as I grew up in Trinidad, but unfortunately the narrators accent was not good and he mispronounced several words, including many place names.

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  • mazza_forever
  • 21-12-2019

Gripped

Loved this book. In the morning on the way in to work I dallied so I could hear more and couldn't wait to get to my car in the evening so I could get back to it. So we'll written, so evocative of the country and the culture. Shock, sadness and hurt like these were real lives. Highly recommend.

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  • C Nixon Stewart
  • 18-11-2019

A Very good read

This novel the author captures an aspect of Trinidadian society experiences and the sacrifices that are often made that are never considered or planned for.

It brought back some many memories for me and what is familiar by identifying with the some of the characters.

The narrator did a good job but he reads the dialect speech with a Jamaican accent not a Trinidadian which took away from the line delivery in some instances.

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  • Miss T J Manwaring
  • 22-10-2019

Authentic storyline.

Truly authentic and nostalgic story. The narrator was engaging but the Trinidadian accent needed some improvement.

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