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Golden Child: Winner of the Desmond Elliot Prize 2019

Claire Adam

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

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Format
Ebook
ISBN
9780571339839
Date Published
15.01.2019
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Summary

A TIMES AND EVENING STANDARD BOOK OF THE YEAR
WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2019

WINNER OF THE AUTHORS’ CLUB FIRST NOVEL AWARD
WINNER OF THE MCKITTERICK PRIZE 2020
ONE OF THE BBC’S ‘100 NOVELS THAT SHAPED OUR WORLD’

LONGLISTED FOR THE JHALAK PRIZE AND THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FIRST BOOK AWARD

It’s dark now; the bats are out. Insects knock against the light on the patio and the dog sits at the gate. A boy has not returned home and a family anxiously awaits. A father steps out into the night to search for his son.

As the hours turn into days, this man will learn many things. He will learn about being a father to twin boys who are in no way alike. He will learn how dangerous hopes and dreams can be. He will learn truths about Trinidad, about his family, and himself. He will question received wisdom and question his judgement. He will learn about sacrifice and the nature of love – and he will be forced to act.

Claire Adam’s electrifying first novel reckons with the secrets of the human heart. It tells a story about wanting more for our children; it casts its spell with uncommon wisdom and grace.

Critic Reviews

Partly a fable about choices and children; partly a sensual immersion into life in Trinidad; and wholly a bracing, brave and wise corrective to Western sentimentality about poverty and migration, I was enthralled, appalled and finally very moved by this story.

Kate Clanchy
Critic Reviews

‘Two other lean but powerful novels that haven’t had the attention they deserve...Golden Child, Claire Adam’s tense story of a Trinidadian family who face a harrowing choice between two sons.’

Johanna Thomas-Corr, Evening Standard Books of the Year
Critic Reviews

‘This accomplished and artfully restrained novel won the Desmond Elliott prize for debut fiction. It’s a sort of morality tale set in the recent past on the author’s home island of Trinidad. Clyde, a petrochemical worker, has 13-year-old twin sons, Peter and Paul. Life is hard, crime is rife and opportunities are rare, but Peter, the golden child, has rare academic talent. Clyde sets out to earn as much as possible to get Peter off the island and into an Ivy League university. Then Paul goes missing — and the family face an awful dilemma.’

The Times Novels of the Year