Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett
The plot of Golden Boys begins when a new family move into a working-class Australian suburb. The Jensons are different to the other families in the neighbourhood. They are wealthy and their house, mountains of toys and brand new swimming pool are the envy of all. Yet, from the very beginning, it is clear that the father, Rex, is not all that he seems.
The second family at the centre of the story is the Kileys, long-term residents of the neighbourhood. The Kileys house is the antithesis of the Jensens house, it is busting at the seams with six children, money is scarce and the danger wrought by the father is very evident. An embittered man, Joe Kiley often returns home drunk and domestic violence is a fact of life for the Kiley kids.
Sonya Hartnett is an expert at building tension and throughout this book the reader is gripped with dread. One of her techniques for this is to expose the insights of children. Examples of this are the insights Colt provides about his father including:
“With their father, there’s always a catch . . .
‘‘their father plies his sons with objects worth envying, so he will be the -father of envied sons’’
“His father spends money not merely on making his sons envied, but on making them – and the word seems to tip the floor – enticing. His father buys bait.”
Sonya Hartnett is one of our favourite authors in the iCentre. Her latest book, Golden Boys, will not disappoint readers who enjoy the distinctive voices of her characters, her ability to build tension and a sense of menace and stories that explore larger social issues.