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Golden Child
Golden ChildJenco215 (3)

Am I misunderstanding the end of the book? As I see it, Clyde ends up losing everything, including the Golden Child and Father Kavanagh? Horrible book. I am one that usually likes the books I read to some degree or another. But this one not so much. The writing is good and I loved how we got to see how Paul felt internally for a while and how Father Kavanagh stood up for and encouraged him for a while. And then that abruptly ended with FK getting basically angry with Paul and that is never heard from again. The book seems to tell me that children with learning disabilities are worthless and can be sacrificed. Horrible book.

Golden ChildLitNerd (2)
Bold Debut!

I was excited to read Golden Child and loved it! The moral dilemma that Clyde faces in choosing to support one son's future at the expense of the other son's life is so dramatic and intense. I definitely understand why his choice angered so many readers (it hurt me too), but I think it makes for a stronger, complex novel. If Clyde had chosen to save the kidnapped twin, he feared that the kidnappers would only come back and threaten his family again. That is, by giving in to their demands, he feared a never ending cycle of violence. A fascinating look at immigration, poverty, and sacrifice.

Smf22 (4)
I was definitely one of those angered readers! My post about it is below. I think this is an amazing point of view and definitely made me think of my initial reaction differently.
8little_paws (87)
"If Clyde had chosen to save the kidnapped twin, he feared that the kidnappers would only come back and threaten his family again. That is, by giving in to their demands, he feared a never ending cycle of violence. " Wow, that's so well put. Good point!
Golden ChildBSchl (1)
special needs

I really liked how the author made the reader understand what it's like for a special needs person to feel in school. She helped me understand better what was going on in the mind of my own son when he often experienced anxiety at school.

Truly0510 (3)
Aww I am glad you where able to feel closer to your child after this
Golden ChildSmf22 (4)
*Spoilers* What was so difficult about Clyde's decision...?

First off, I will say that I loved the imagery and writing of this book. They were beautiful. That being said I have one big issue.

Every synopsis talks about this insanely difficult decision that Clyde has to make. I do not understand what is so incredibly difficult about what he has to do. He merely has a choice to keep his son alive or not. He in the end chooses to take the life of one son in order for his other son to be successful. I found it incredibly upsetting and I did not feel any empathy for Clyde whatsoever. I felt like he made a horrible mistake that unfortunately his wife and son had to live with.

Really curious about everyone else's thoughts. I know my review is harsh but I had some really strong emotions by the end of this novel. Which is what is so great about reading! :)

Pepita (2)
I agree with you, and it took me a lot of reflection to understand it a bit better. I think that for those of us who have never experienced true poverty, and I mean real poverty, it is impossible to understand why Clyde made that decision. But as I try to grasp what it must be like for someone to make the decision to either have two children who both will likely live in destitution, or to have one child who has the opportunity to actually escape intergenerational poverty and change the course of that family's history, I can start to recognize why Clyde may have made that choice.
LitNerd (2)
Pepita, you have basically captured how I felt too. It was so painful to read, but yes. I think the harsh reality of poverty forced him to make a very unsettling choice. I love that the book highlighted the brutality of living under the constant weight of violence and lack of resources. I came away less angry at Clyde and more angry that anyone would ever be placed in such a miserable situation in which any choice he makes destroys the future of one of his children.
Smf22 (4)
Thank you both for your replies! I am still thinking about this book and I think both of you are very on point! Someone else said that they think Clyde knew that even if they gave them the money, the violence probably wouldn't have stopped. I think that is a great point as well.
Jenco215 (3)
I don't care how poor you are sacrificing the life of a child for the education of another is not a choice. There should never have been a "choice." I wholeheartedly agree with the original poster's comments.
JKruschke (1)
Agreed. I strongly disliked the book because of the implication that there WAS a choice. He literally chose to sacrifice one son's LIFE for the other's education. The imagery was beautiful but this book made me extremely uncomfortable and I regretted choosing it.
ElizaReads (1)
I completely agree! And what makes me even crazier is that the last chapter, the last paragraph is about Peter and how he truly isn't "one of them"; he is a golden child. And it makes me so mad that Peter got the last page when Paul is the one that was sacrificed for his brother. It just drove home again how Paul was the extra child and while he was loved, it wasn't enough.
bdepper7292 (1)
I agree whole heartedly I felt no empathy for Clyde. He never even seemed to consider the option of giving the money for Peter's College. It was like he didn't really like Paul anyway so who cares? I felt like he went through the motions of "trying" to save Paul just to keep Joy and Peter from hating him.
Truly0510 (3)
I am with you! This is the only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars!
fuchs7 (8)
This is a great review. Exactly how I felt as well. I wish he would have at least discussed it with Joy and Peter because they had to live with it as well, but he didn't. And now they had to suffer for the death of their son/brother.
Smf22 (4)
Okay, I am so glad I'm not the only one out there! I do understand that other cultures may have children for different reasons, labor, income, etc. But it just didn't feel like that in here. I also was very disturbed by the sexual violence that was portrayed. It felt extremely odd because it happened one time and was not developed or mentioned again. I have read plenty of books that depict sexual abuse or violence but most of the time I understand why it is within the story. I did not feel like that with this.
orangasaur (8)
No I'm with you. I was loving the book really, loving the writing and the energy and everything, until they call asking for the ransom. Once Clyde made his decision it ruined the whole book for me.
lastjenks (1)
I completely agree with you. this was infuriating not only because of his fowl decision but because Peter ends up winning the scholarship and probably could have made it work either way, which is I think why Clyde cries at the end. Heart wrenching story
Golden Childalbvuo (1)
Crushing & Beautiful

Golden Child is beautiful. The writing subtly swept me in, and within 24 hours, I was already 100 pages in. (On a NYC work week at that.)

The beauty and richness of Golden Child take time to sink in, but page by page, the themes at play (family, masculinity, sacrifice, crime, poverty, fatherhood, brotherhood, etc) begin to paint a beautiful but tragic reality for our characters, and for ourselves.

Though an emotional ending, it was nonetheless a beautiful one. I cried quietly while the book ended. I laid in bed starring at the ceiling, crying for Paul, Peter, Clyde, and Joy.