The Golden Child, written by Wendy James, is quite horrifying. Following a family with two teenage daughters, as they move back to Australia and they make a new life, primarily focuses on bullying, cyber bullying and how little parents know about what our children get up to. Charlotte, the younger daughter is a golden child – popular, strong, clever, pretty…. but she has a history of bullying, and is caught up in a case of bullying that leads to horrific consequences.
This novel really covers many aspects of parenting, as the voices of the parents mother of Charlotte and the girl who was bullied, Sophie are focused on most – or maybe they stood out most to me. Bullying and the impact, and how the cyber world can be so easily accessed by many is a focus. For me the horrific part was how little we can know our children – what they are capable of and how much faith we put in them, at times wrongly. The massive twist at the end is very cruel and psychotic, and really asks the question about truth and honesty.
The Golden Child is written from the perspective of Charlotte, Sophie and the two mums, as well as incorporating Charlotte’s mum’s blog, which paints herself as a super mum in many ways. The inclusion of this blog adds to the concept of the cyber world, how fake it is, and how we can portray ourselves however we want to, offer the information we want shared and ignore the things we don’t want to face.
There is also a site called Golden Child which features ‘lessons’ for people in how to deceive, lie and get what you want at all costs. For me this painted how grim the cyber world can be – the replies to her comments are often encouraging, or misguided, and it shows how little surveillance there can be of what we put up on the web.
I enjoyed The Golden Child, though it was frightening at times, especially that ending…