Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin is an audiobook that completely blew me away. This is an amazing novel that deals with some serious issues and does it in such a way as to totally immerse the reader in the characters emotions and lives. The audiobook production of this book is narrated by the author Abigail Tarttelin as well as a host of others: Christian Coulson, James Langton, Keith Nobbs, Kate Reading, and Anita Sabherwal. I’m pretty sure I would have loved this book in print as well but these narrators did such a great job of really bringing these characters and this story to life for me.
Max is a golden boy. He has everything going for him. He’s good looking, smart, has lots of friends, loves sports, and the girls flock around him. His family is prominent in the neighborhood with his mother being a criminal lawyer and his father running for Parliament. Even Maxs’ little brother Daniel adores him. Yet this family has something hanging over them. A huge secret that they’ve been keeping for years and that is that Max is intersex.
Max has never really had a problem with being the way he is. He has lived life as a boy and is happy that way. Now as he’s getting older though he’s thinking more and more about how things are going to change for him because either way he’s not like a normal boy. How will he be able to have a relationship? Will anyone want him as he is? And just how does he go about ever sharing this with anyone? And then his life is literally turned upside down when a close family friend abuses his trust.
Max is suddenly forced to really examine his life and identity. Just who is Max really? And who does Max want to be? What happens to Max totally upends this family and leaves them questioning every decision they ever made.
I know I keep saying this but this is truly a phenomenal novel. It’s written by 25 year old Abigail Tarttelin and I’m amazed that this is her debut novel. The depth of emotion and quality of both writing and story show a maturity usually found in more seasoned writers. Golden Boy would make such a good book club pick as well. The wealth of topics to discuss is never ending: the issue of intersex children, marriage, family, and the decisions we make and the consequences that follow. I would have loved to have someone to discuss this book with while listening to it.
Golden Boy is an excellent audio. I fell into this book completely and loved Max dearly. My heart went out to him and his struggles and this book really makes you wonder just how you would handle something like this. What decisions would you make for your child? Ultimately it’s a question of identity and the need to have one and for Max that was a little harder than for most of us.
Excellent audiobook and very highly recommended by yours truly! I loved it!
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.