2017 Reviews · Australian · contemporary fiction · literary

Book Broadcast: The Golden Age by Joan London


Book Broadcast is a post I have created to help ease the load of the books I have for review. It is a great way to spread the word, providing recognition to an author or publisher for sending me a book to review. As my reviewing and blogging duties have stepped up a notch in the last year, I don’t often have the time to complete an in depth review. I hope you can discover some new titles to read through this regular book post.

It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to the golden age smallwalk again after contracting polio in Australia. At the Golden Age Children’s Polio Convalescent Home in Perth, he sees Elsa, a fellow patient, and they form a forbidden, passionate bond. The Golden Age becomes the little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs: love and desire, music, death, and poetry. It is a place where children must learn they’re alone, even within their families.

From time to time I like to read a book from my signed collection shelf. These are books that are on my ‘keeps’ shelf. The Golden Age is a book that has been sitting on my special ‘keeps’ book cabinet since I met the author Joan London back at a Stories on Stage author in 2015. I recall enjoying the author event given by Joan, to mark the release of her much anticipated third book, The Golden Age. What struck me most about the author talk and the book itself was the extent of research and historical detail London included in her book. It hardly comes as a surprise to me that since its release in 2014, The Golden Age has received a whole host of literary awards and it has been shortlisted for many more. This novel is set in my home state of Western Australian, during the 1950’s and it was simply a joy to read. London perfectly captures the nostalgia of Perth during this era. London’s examination into the effects of polio and the narrative focus on a convalescent home for victims of polio based in Perth was historically fascinating. A moving tribute to times past, I endorse The Golden Age completely.

The Golden Age by Joan London was published on 1st August 2014 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

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