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The Golden Age: A Novel de Joan London
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The Golden Age: A Novel (original: 2014; edição: 2016)

de Joan London (Autor)

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19212107,269 (3.88)44
This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia's most loved novelists. He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home. Perth, 1954.… (mais)
Membro:Susannai
Título:The Golden Age: A Novel
Autores:Joan London (Autor)
Informação:Europa Editions (2019), 224 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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The Golden Age de Joan London (2014)

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This an evocative story set primarily in Australia in the early 1950's. The effects of WWII are still resonating throughout the world and the specter of polio haunts every family during these epidemic years. The main characters are Frank (Ferec) and Elsa, two young adolescents in a residential rehab center in Perth, undergoing treatment as they recover from polio.

There are several parallel stories of exile through the book. These two young teens have been exiled from their families and school in the Golden Age rehab home. Frank's parents are war refugee's from Budapest. Several of the care providers in the Golden Age are also from away.

The author sets the tone through her descriptions of the environment and her well drawn characters. Although the story mainly involves Frank and Elsa, there are several sub-stories that enhance the plot and draw the reader into the narrative.

The writing is quiet and understated, reminiscent of Kent Haruf's style of writing. The author lovingly and charitably draws her characters, causing the reader the care about what happens to them. ( )
  tangledthread | Mar 9, 2018 |
Evocative story set in 1950's Perth hospital home for children recovering from polio. Frank and Elsa are young teenagers growing close and later 'expelled' for being found in the same bed. Beautifully written from many character's points of view it is quiet, poetic novel about a real place and time. The final chapter was somewhat unexpected having jumped forward many years - they didn't stay together. ( )
  siri51 | Dec 15, 2017 |
I thought I'd like this more than I did - found it a little slow, and the story seemed to trail off at the end. But it was an interesting depiction of the polio epidemic set in Perth, written mostly from the point of view of a boy and a girl. ( )
  bobbieharv | Aug 10, 2017 |
I read about Joan London's novel, THE GOLDEN AGE, in The New Yorker's "Briefly Noted" column. It sounded intriguing enough to buy. I am so glad that I did. Simply stated, this is a beautifully-written book about the last days of the Polio epidemics, just before the Salk vaccine became available and made the near eradication of this crippling disease possible.

Set in Perth, in western Australia, the novel centers around two 13 year-old Polio patients - Frank Gold and Elsa Briggs - residents of a small rehabilitation center for children called The Golden Age (which was, incidentally, a real place, although the story is fictional). We watch these two young people, the oldest of the children, come of age, become close and yes, fall in love.

The book renders a real flavor of the fear that surrounded polio, how families of polio victims were often ostracized and avoided. As in the way Elsa's mother became aware of this -

"The first time she'd walked into the butcher's after Elsa went to hospital, some people walked out. It seemed to her now that her home had a darkness about it, a mark on its door. She felt like an outcast ..."

Young Frank, who aspires to be a poet, thinks of polio as 'The Third Country,' and writes of Elsa -

"You are the first inhabitant
I meet
In this new country."

Perhaps tellingly, Frank's poems are written on the pages of a prescription pad he found. The words he scribbles, in his newfound profession, are a kind of medicine, an antidote to his pain and isolation, and the loneliness and heartbreak of first love. His parents, Meyer and Ida Gold are "new Australians" - refugees from Hungary, upper class survivors of the Holocaust, a distinction that isolates Frank even more among his peers.

All of the characters in THE GOLDEN AGE are well defined, become real as the story progresses - the Golds, the Briggses, Sister Olive Penny (the center's administrator), the physiotherapists, the handyman, many of the children. No one escapes the attention of London's fine eye.

There is one passage near the end of the book which caused me to miss my mother all over again. A young man, thinking of his mother and himself -

"They are the readers in the family. She's the person with whom he discusses books."

Yes. My mother, myself.

The bits and pieces of information here about polio itself, as well as the war years and early fifties, brought back all my own research on these subjects. It is very real, very authentic. But what moved me most was the heartbreakingly beautiful arc of the story itself. I am so glad I did not miss this lovely little book out of Australia. I loved it. Bravo, Ms. London. My highest recommendation.

- Tim Bazzett, author of LOVE, WAR & POLIO: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF YOUNG BILL PORTEOUS ( )
  TimBazzett | Dec 8, 2016 |
I loved this and I loved the experience of just coming across it. A book that arrived with absolutely no fanfare (I'm look at you, Sweetbitter) but that was almost perfect. A beautifully told story about the young residents of a polio hospital in Perth in the early 1950s, their parents, and the people who care for them.

Very very satisfying. In my mind, I am giving it an extra half star. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
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Joan Londonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Cull, SandyDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Goldin, NanArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For my three sisters
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One afternoon during rest-time, the new boy, Frank Gold, left his bed, lowered himself into his wheelchair and glided down the corridor.
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He, Ida and Frank had left behind all their family and friends, those who had survived.  But the dead came with you.
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This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia's most loved novelists. He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home. Perth, 1954.

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