By Sonya Hartnett
“ It's powerful writing ”
Ok, I'm biased-I do think Sonya Hartnett is one of the best writers in Australia, but I'll try to be objective. In Golden Boys she distils the sights, smells, sounds and feel of your average small Aussie town. Sweaty boys spend the long hot days of summer riding their bikes to the weed -bedraggled water pipe and swimming in the new boy's pool. It's achingly familiar to someone of my vintage-and Hartnett gets inside boys' heads so well. The new boy's father is warm and friendly-a little bit too friendly. Slowly simmering family tensions in another household add to the suspense, and the palpable heat and dust do nothing to allay one's sense of foreboding. The children look for solutions to their parent's bad behaviour-problems they shouldn't have to deal with, and in doing so people get hurt-that's inevitable. This is a book about boys but it is not for the young. It is about the very real challenges of bringing our children up safely, of navigating neighbourhood relationships and living with bad marriages. It's powerful writing.
Reviewed by Ms M. Sweeney (Librarian)