Golden Child

A Novel
Narrated by: Obi Abili
Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
4 out of 5 stars (192 ratings)

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Interview: Listen in as Claire Adam talks about the power of books and how her debut novel, Golden Child, set on a Caribbean Island and centered on a poor but proud family, resonates with people from all walks of life.

I'm Trinidadian originally, and the book is set in Trinidad, but I hope that people from many places hear it in their own way...
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  • Golden Child
  • I'm Trinidadian originally, and the book is set in Trinidad, but I hope that people from many places hear it in their own way...

Publisher's Summary

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

Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize • "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, 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.

Like the Trinidadian landscape itself, Golden Child is both beautiful and unsettling, a resoundingly human story of aspiration, betrayal, and love.

Praise for Golden Child

"In fluid and uncluttered prose, Golden Child weaves an enveloping portrait of an insular social order in which the claustrophobic support of family and neighbors coexists with an omnipresent threat from the same corners." (The New York Times Book Review)

"[A] powerful debut...a devastating family portrait - and a fascinating window into Trinidadian society." (People)

"[An] emotionally potent debut novel...with a spare, evocative style, Adam (a Trinidad native) evokes the island’s complexity during the mid-'80s, when the novel is mostly set: the tenuous relationship between Hindus like Clyde’s family and the twins’ Catholic schoolmaster, assassinations and abductions hyped by lurid media headlines, resources that attract carpetbagging oil companies but leave the country largely impoverished." (USA Today)

©2019 Claire Adam (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Throughout this stunning portrait of Trinidad’s multicultural diversity, and one family’s sacrifices, soaring hopes and ultimate despair, Adam weaves a poetic lightness and beauty that will transfix readers." (Publishers Weekly starred review)

"Adam's writing is luxuriant, evoking the atmospheric island setting and the complicated, worried lives lived under a near-constant sense of impending violence.... Heartbreaking and lovely, this is an important work by a promising new voice." (Booklist starred review)

"Fascinating...an incisive and loving portrait of contemporary Trinidad." (Kirkus)

Editor's Pick

His brother’s keeper
"It is unbelievably satisfying how well Claire Adam’s Golden Child nails so many things about life in Trinidad, my homeland. From the opening chapter, peppered with the language and landscape of this beautiful yet complicated Caribbean island nation, to the nods to class and socioeconomic strife that run throughout, Golden Child is a loving, yet clear-eyed look at Adam’s and my shared birthplace. But what really makes this debut novel a stunner is the heartbreaking look at twin brothers Peter and Paul—one bright and destined for great things, the other painfully slower by comparison—and their family’s fears and hopes in the face of one agonizing decision. It’s a story that you often wish would go another way but nevertheless are compelled to finish, drawn deeper by both Obi Abili’s enrapturing narration as it bounces between clear British and Trini Creole, and Adam’s riveting and unsettling prose."
Abby W., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Golden Child

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moving story

I enjoyed reading this family story. It was riveting an unexpected at times. the author is a very good storyteller. plan to read more of her novels. the narrator's voice was soothing. I am going to recommend this novel as the next for my book club to read.

3 people found this helpful

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A truly authentic and accurate West Indian story

As a fellow West Indian, this story transported me back to the Caribbean. Brilliant, maddening and saddening all at the same time. Reminding me of the joys and simplicity of island life; the frustrations of why I wanted to leave and the guilt of not wanting to return.

2 people found this helpful

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Engrossing

The plot definitely held my interest from beginning to end. The detailed description was a pleasure to read. Worse part was the narrator - while his accent was wonderful and brought the setting alive his voice modulated in an odd way which made it difficult to find a suitable volume to listen to the book. So you have to be constantly turning the volume up and down.

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Underwhelmed

Narrator needs to better manage his volume...too loud, then too quiet. Quite annoying. Accents and delivery good, however.

5 people found this helpful

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ok

Was really hard to get into until the suspense in the very end. Spent way to much time explaining mundane things in my opinion.

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On the edge of my car seat

I don’t understand why some of the other reviews mentioned the narrator sounding annoyed and the main character being unlikeable. I 100% disagree. I thought the narrator did an excellent job, especially with the different voices. Very authentic sounding! And Clyde was a very genuine, real and believable character. He was a simple man who knew his country very well, a realist. Excellent audible that I would recommend to anyone, especially someone familiar with island culture. I literally wanted to drive to work to hear more of the story. Riveting.

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Most Brilliant Narration

I could not put this book down. Likely the best narration of any book I’ve hear, simply brilliant. Obi Abili is extremely talented.Mesmerizing story . I highly recommend this book.

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Narrator ruins story

The story itself is pretty good- with the most engrossing character being the country of Trinidad, itself. However, the narrator and whomever edited the audio ruins it. At times, you can literally hear the narrator's exasperation/boredom/annoyance with reading the book.

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I loved it!

I loved this book! The author was so descriptive and easily created a picture for the imagination.
But KUDDOS to the narrator! I was amazed with his voice changing for Clyde, Joy, Paul, and Peter. And even Father Kavanaugh with an Irish Accent! Good job!
I was sad when it ended, but mostly because it ENDED!

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Golden Parents

I was there, under the porch, on the steps, on the sofa. The author gave such minute details of people and places that I was transported. I felt the heartache of the parents. It was a beautiful story of a family in Trinidad.

1 person found this helpful