Golden Child, a book review for TLC Book Tours

I seem to be doing more reading lately than cooking.   I have to thank TLC for this.

I have been given many opportunities to read some fantastic fiction, of the literary type and of the beach read type.  The current tour for Golden Child left me speechless.

About Golden Child

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.

Claire Adam was born and raised in Trinidad. She lives in London.



What I thought…

There may be no words.   I sought out this book initially because it is a new novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint, SJP for Hogarth.   I read it quickly.   I am still digesting it.

The plot started out a bit slow with all the extended family dynamics.   As the family tragedies mount, these family relationships will become apparently important.

I never did connect with Clyde or Joy or Paul, the father, mother, and one twin of the central family.  It was much later in the book that I was able to really see Peter, The Golden Child of the title.

The book is heart wrenching and that might lend to this tepid review. Adam paints an authentic picture of the poverty, trials, tribulations and violence of Trinidad.

Aside:  I read A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul in college and revisited that book after I read Golden Child.  I can see similarities.   I can also imagine that Golden Child might be on a college reading list at some point as well.   But, I am still digesting it.

The Food

There’s red solo soda, rice, roti, curry chicken, curry shrimp, alloo pies, green salads, macaroni pies, and other Trinidad dishes in the novel.   I almost made roti, but I really couldn’t wrap my head around food for this post.

Posting a recipe seemed trite and trivial.  Like I said, I am still mulling over the novel and it’s impact.


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