book club

Smooth Book Club: The Golden Child

By Marni Dixit March 29, 2017

Welcome to month four of Smooth Book Club where we read The Golden Child.

Our book-loving team read psychological thriller The Golden Child (Harper Collins Publishers) by Wendy James for this month’s instalment of the Smooth Book Club.

The Golden Child

When cyberbullying ends in tragedy, two families must grapple with who’s to blame. 

Our thoughts:

"The Golden Child provides a rare 360° look at the effects that modern-day bullying can have on each person involved. It gives readers a suspenseful look into the thoughts, motives and emotions of the characters which I imagine a lot of parents would easily relate to and empathise with.

It is a confronting story that primarily centres around the theme of how well a parent really knows their own child and explores these intricate relationships allowing the reader to invest in the lives of the characters with the truth not exposed until the very last page.

I must admit, I had an inkling as to the plot twist but it does still leave you thinking about it for days after. I enjoyed the book, despite its sombre theme and found it to be quite a page-turner!"

– Zoe

"When I first picked up this book I had no idea I was about to read a psychological thriller, but wow – I am so glad it was. I really liked the fact that the book presents you with all the sides of the story. I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it at first as I'm not a parent, but I definitely found it easy to empathise with the characters – well, most of them anyway.

I found the book was a little slow at the start, but I soon became engrossed in the story and didn't want to put it down. I also saw the plot twist coming, but that didn't stop it from being an incredibly satisfying ending. I'd definitely recommend this book, and secretly hope a film or TV show gets created out of it."

– Marni  

"The Golden Child is one of those books that get you hooked pretty quickly. It reminded me a lot of Lionel Shriver’s novel We Need to Talk About Kevin – which is one of my favourite books – so once I saw the similarities in the storylines, I was won over. I loved how complex (and at times frustrating) the characters were and the twist in the plot worked perfectly for the ending. 

Wendy James really made me think with this story: would I be able to treat my own child with love and compassion if they were, well, evil? I'm not a parent, so I really can't understand the way Beth was handling the situation at hand, but man, did I want to shake her at times.... 

Great read. I highly recommend this book." 

– Steph

"The Golden Child is a must-read for parents whose children are just starting to explore the online world. It is a heart-wrenching story which shows the devastating impacts of bullying on young people.  It is an real eye opener for parents who may think they know all that is going on in the world of their child.

Although I am not a parent I found the book hard to put down, the multi-perspective format creates a window into the minds of all the characters. You can’t help but feel sick to your stomach about the thoughts of the evil character and sympathise with the parents and victim. A great read!"

– Chantal

Image: Instagram/harpercollinsnz