The Golden Age

The Golden Age

Book - 2016
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13-year-old Frank Gold's family escaped from Hungary and the perils of WW2 to the safety of Australia, but not long after their arrival Frank is diagnosed with polio. Sent to a sprawling children's hospital called The Golden Age, he finds Elsa, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen, and a vocation for poetry. Frank and Elsa fall in love, fuelling one another's rehabilitation and facing the perils of polio and adolescence hand in hand. Meanwhile Frank and Elsa's parents must cope with their changing realities.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Europa Editions, 2016
ISBN: 9781609453329
Branch Call Number: London, J
Characteristics: 221 pages ; 21 cm


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spl_merley Jan 19, 2017

A story about overcoming adversity, the challenges of being an immigrant and the resounding impact of WWII and the holocaust all wrapped up in an Australian hospital for children recovering from Polio. London vividly describes the inner world of her characters removing a veil to allow the reader a glimpse into the many complicated motivations that influence who her characters have become.

Jan 12, 2017

When my husband went to our indie bookseller looking for a Christmas gift, he asked for something not too sappy with good characters. This was the recommendation, and I agree with the assessment. I was close to the end before I felt truly invested in the characters. The author described the immigrant experience and the common struggles faced by both the patients and the parents as they each faced loneliness, judgment and misunderstanding.

Nov 14, 2016

This is a novel about overcoming adversity. Unfortunately, it is rather superficial and reads like young adult fiction.

Nov 07, 2016

Tender and evocative story of two young people who fall in love while recovering in a polio rehabilitation hospital in post-World War II Australia. This book won all major literary awards in Australia for a good reason. All of the characters - the families, staff, other patients - are drawn so well. And, London also explores the contrasts of class backgrounds and immigrant experiences of the characters with understated but "spot on" descriptions.

Sep 25, 2016

I think this is a lovely book. The story (like the prose and like the setting) seems spare and elegant. The characters--not just the two main but many of the minor--are well drawn and detailed. The interactions between them are leisurely and yet powerful.

The main two characters are children in an Australian polio hospital just after WWII. One is the child of Hungarian refugees. The two children fall in love, in a way that seems completely plausible.

Very firmly set in its time and place, it's really worth reading.


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