Around the World for a Good Book selection for Trinidad and Tobago
Author: Claire Adam
Title: The Golden Child
Narrator: Obi Abili
Publication Info: New York : Random House Audio, 2019.
The Golden Child is a family drama set in rural Trinidad. The Deyalsingh family, Trinidadians of Indian heritage, are Clyde and Joy, and their twin 13-year-old sons Peter and Paul. Peter is the “golden child” of the title, academically gifted, and Clyde saves all the family’s money for his future, despite his wife’s desire to move to the city or to improve the house they live in.
Despite the title, Paul is the main focus of the novel. He is believed to be “slightly retarded” due to loss of oxygen to his brain at birth. But over the novel it is revealed that he is a kind child with many hidden talents, and most likely has learning disabilities, although this is never specifically stated. The novel begins with Paul going missing, and then flashes back on the previous 13 years of the family from various points of view. When we return to the present day timeline, Paul is facing a very real threat and Clyde is faced with difficult choice.
Adam does well at developing the characters and family dynamics, as well as showing everyday Trinidadian culture. But this is also a grim and disheartening book, so don’t pick it up for light reading.