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Golden Child by Claire Adam
Literary fiction

Golden Child

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Claire Adam, on your first book!

by Claire Adam

Quick take

A tale of two Caribbean twins—one a source of family pride, the other of shame—and the small betrayals that will alter their lives forever.

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    Heavy read

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Challenging read

This is a literary read that builds slowly and contains motifs of violence.
Sarah Jessica Parker is an actress and avid reader.

Why I love it

Sarah Jessica Parker

The moment I read the first page of Claire Adam’s astonishing debut, it was obvious to me that I was experiencing a truly gifted writer telling a story about a place intimately known to her. By the last, utterly heartbreaking page, I knew I needed to share this book with as many people as possible. Golden Child is an emotional and page-turning story of scarcity, sacrifice, and betrayal set against the beautiful but precarious backdrop of rural Trinidad.

As the head of a family surviving and struggling to succeed against powerful odds, Clyde Deyalsingh is a father determined to raise his teenage sons well. But his twins could not be more different: Peter is a promising boy with a bright future ahead of him, and Paul is somewhat slow and strange. When one of the sons is kidnapped after a break-in, Clyde finds himself overwhelmed by forces terribly beyond his control, and he’s faced with choices no parent should ever have to make.

With unerring insight, Claire accesses the deepest fears and pains of having, and belonging to, a family; of all the unspoken dread a parent carries and negotiates with. In the same way that the Trinidadian landscape is simultaneously lovely and treacherous, Golden Child is a book that is at once gorgeous and unsettling, achieving the kind of breathless emotional resonance that we treasure in our most beloved stories.

Claire brings a singular familiarity and affection for Trinidad and its people to this remarkable debut. She has given us an unforgettable story, and I am honored to be able to share it with you.

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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, 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 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.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Golden Child.

Member thoughts

All (2013)
All (2013)
Love (377)
Like (989)
Dislike (647)
2139 ratings
  • 18% Love
  • 46% Like
  • 30% Dislike
  • Ayer, MA

    Wow. One of the most thought provoking and powerful books I’ve ever read. I couldn’t stop thinking about this. The whole book was good, but average. And then the ending hit you like a ton of bricks.

  • Rochester, MN

    I didn’t like it because it was hard to read. But I loved it because it was hard to read. Having to choose one child? Knowing that you can only push one forward? It’s not uncommon. So heartbreaking.

  • Fargo, ND

    When I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this story. It’s a bitter pill to swallow that not everyone is as fortunate in the world as us, but it made me grateful for where I am. Beautifully told!

  • Brooklyn, NY

    I was born and raised in Trinidad. The authors portrayal of the setting and culture was amazing, down to the dog’s names. Aside from that this story is deeply unsettling and made me question humanity

  • Oneida, TN

    Excellent. How do you choose between your kids? The father's decisions lead to very dire consequences and he went on like it was no big deal. The mother should of put her two cents in and stopped it.

  • Astoria, NY

    I loved how insightful this book was to a group of people I knew very little about. In the end, this book was ultimately about the decisions we make for our families, and how this can vary by culture.

  • Jacksonville, FL

    This was such a heart-wrenching book. It really makes you examine this family, what you understand about familial loyalty & what should come as common sense to a parent. I just about cried at the end.

  • Brooklyn, NY

    Golden Child is beautiful. The writing subtly sweeps you in, like an unexpected tide in Trinidad waters. GC is bound by rich themes of family, fatherhood, brotherhood, sacrifice, and evil. A must read

  • San Francisco, CA

    This book was unlike anything I've read before. I loved the author's voice. Clyde's character was so intruiging & the whole thing was gut-wrenching. I'll be thinking about this one for a long time.

  • Coraopolis, PA

    I could not put this book down. I really enjoyed the perspective in a different country and culture, and Claire Adam did an amazing job developing these characters. One of the best I've read in awhile

  • Apex, NC

    Clyde, Joy, and their twin boys, Peter and Paul, live in Trinidad. A corrupt country with bandits, murders, and no justice. What happens to this family is horrid. Why do the good ones have to suffer?

  • Conrad, MT

    Amazingly moving. The ending is reminiscent of Kate Chopin's "Awakening". Psychologically stunning and binding, told from various captivating perspectives, showing that money can not outperform love.

  • New York, NY

    Simple writing that conveys a powerful story about sacrifices, choices, and the burden of expectations. It was refreshing to hear from a new voice and new (to me) part of the world. Fantastic debut.

  • Rye, NY

    A thought-provoking story set in a jewel-toned but dangerous world beautifully evoked by the author. An unbelievable story made tragically believable by its cast of deep and complex characters.

  • Carver, MA

    The setting is what lured me to this book, set in Trinidad. I really enjoyed reading what life on the island is like from a local perspective. Often times we see these places from a tourists' view.

  • Cutler Bay, FL

    Wow! This book is a powerful and thought-provoking look at dealing with heart-breaking, difficult choices. The story stuck with me long after reading, and it excellent for book club discussions.

  • omaha, NE

    The book "Golden Child" is amazing. It is book which details many emotions we all encounter and have to control: good vs. evil, grace vs. damnation, safety vs. sacrifice, and love vs. hate.

  • Miami, FL

    This is the kind of book that haunts you for days after! I cannot stop thinking about these characters and their story. Claire Adam wrote an incredibly haunting story that'll grab your heart.

  • Wichita, KS

    Golden Child is a fast read! Story set in Trinidad of a family struggling with finances and tough decisions. The relationships between each character was very well written. Highly recommend!

  • Raleigh, NC

    A thoughtful, well-written novel about life in the bush of Trinidad during the 80's or early 90's. There is a lot of difficult content; I do recommend this novel but it is not for everyone.

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