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Golden Urchin

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,143 ratings  ·  143 reviews
In the scorching Australian Desert, a wild, beautiful woman rescues a man from death... He is a handsome English aristocrat, sprawled in the dunes, dying of thirst. She is a white-skinned savage, fleeing the aborigine tribe that found her and raised her but still shunned the fiery-haired outcast.

Suddenly, Meg is about to escape her primitive life as Luke introduces her to
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published 1986 by Souvenir Press
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Mark As someone who's half Filipino should I pretend the invading Spanish were not more culturally sophisticated? What about the Romans who were aware that…moreAs someone who's half Filipino should I pretend the invading Spanish were not more culturally sophisticated? What about the Romans who were aware that the Greek culture they appropriated was more sophisticated than their own? Unless there are tribes of white-skinned aborigines in Australia I think the answer is obvious. Yes, usually brown.(less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,143 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4.5 stars. In the course of my ongoing search for good old-fashioned romantic suspense novels in the vein of Mary Stewart, I've been down the path of gothic mysteries with Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt (which didn't work out particularly well for me), and tried some of the more modern ones by Susanna Kearsley (a bit hit and miss, but there are definitely some good ones there). A while back one of my Goodreads friends recommended that I give Madeleine Brent's books a shot. They're quite good, ...more
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wild ride, with just about anything but the kitchen sink tossed in.
Mix together adventure, mystery, exotic locations and lightly sprinkle some romance and you have this fun and captivating story written from the POV of a very unusual heroine.

Mitji/Meg was just two years old when she was kidnapped from her wealthy Irish family, abandoned in the wilds of the Australian outback, and taken in by the aboriginal tribe where she spent the next decade as not quite a member. She's considered a freak and not a true person and grows up with much self-loathing. When her
Mitji (Meg) is one of my favorite characters ever! And she is an inspiring character for any woman or young lady. She is bright, clever, disarming and amazingly talented in ways that are so very unexpected. For the time period she is quite feisty which is always a good thing. She overcomes amazing ordeals throughout the story. I suppose this could be called a coming of age story as she spans ages 14-18 or so as the story progresses. I really enjoy stories such as this and will absolutely read ...more
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes Tarzan, Victoria Holt, or Gothic/Adventure.
Recommended to Tweety by: Dorcas
There are so many shelves I want to put this book under! Adventure is at the top of that list and I think it can even go under thriller just for those last few chapters…

Mitji has never known anything or anyone but the Aboriginal tribe that brought her up. They say she came from the Totem Gods, after all, she looks nothing like them! Mitji is a freak of nature what with her fiery red hair and sparkling green eyes. And then there is her nose. No aborigine has a narrow nose, so she can not be fully
Sherwood Smith
Somebody recommended these books recently when I wrote a blog post about romantic adventure. This book is so much fun!

I haven't had so much sheer reading fun for ages. At the start, Meg is a reject from the aboriginal tribe she was adopted by. Because she's white, she's a non-person, and no one will willingly touch her. So she runs away, stumbles across the aftermath of a gunfight.

One of the combatants is alive, so she saves him . . . he turns out to be a rancher. He takes her home to his
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, this was adventurous!

The author has a talent with plot pacing and capturing one's attention. Not a scene felt trivial or boring even if the last chapters I grew impatient and skipped a row or three, (I know, my sin, my sin...) but nonetheless, my attention was always captured.

The writing was simple, which in my teen years I truthfully found as if tries to humiliate my intellect...Nowadays, I'm grateful these exist! I never felt confused or stupid to understand what is going on or find the
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an old fashioned adventure that chases across 3 or 4 different continents in just as many years. But the beginnings are in Australia and that first half is incredible for detail, the tribal, in every aspect of "Meg/Mitji" and her experiences with all the friends, enemies, associates that she meets.

This is clear and flowing prose and not difficult in the reading to context and languages. Because Madeleine Brent is exceptional in translating to nuance and mood, particularly within the
I loved this book! A girl is kidnapped and found by a tribe of aboriginies. She grows up with the tribe and thinks she's a freak of nature left by the "totem gods ". After many years she leaves the village, saves the life of a man dying in a desert, finds a new home and learns to live as a white woman.
But who is she?
Someone knows and an attempt is made on her life. The question is why?
Her travels take her from Australia to Switzerland to England and finally to Africa where the adventure
Bree (AnotherLookBook)
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of books about Australia, native tribes, & strong women
A historical novel about a young woman who grows up among aborigines as a white-skinned “freak,” until she stumbles across a dying white man and discovers the world of her own people. 1986.

Full review (and other recommendations!) at Another look book

Totally amazing book. This book represents the very best of historical fiction. My favorite parts are the early parts, when the main character is trying to understand all the new things she's encountering in the new world of the white man. I also
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I feel a little self-conscious about liking this book, because I think there are a number of problems with it, but I actually did enjoy it. I don't know enough about the ways of aboriginal Australians to judge whether that part was accurate, but if it is, I must admit that that part was very interesting to me.

The mystery of her past and the intrigue over her heritage was interesting enough for me to continue with the book, even though it reads a lot like a bodice-ripping romance and was a bit
Jannah (Cloud Child)
What utterly lovely perfection. I'm so glad I finally got my hands on this.

A concoction of all the ingredients that I'm weak for in a book - adventure, suspense, survival, romance, humor, etcetcetc all written very engagingly in first person from the perspective of a girl growing up with Aborigines thrust into "civilised" society.

There is a slight feeling of the character being a bit too perfect against the hardships she has to face, but the charm of the writing makes it work. And it is quite
Another great book from M Brent. The plot is about the same and now that I have read four of his books it is possible to predict the progress. This one is taking place in Australia, England and Africa.
I like them in this order:
-Merlin's keep (my favorite)(Himalyan mountains, India, England)supernatural element.
-Moonraker's bride (China, England)
-Tregaron's daughter (Cornwall, Kent, Italy)
-Golden urchin
Feb 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the main character, Meg, Mitji, Red. I thought it was a very intriguing twist to have her grow up as an aborigine. She was fantastic. I liked how the 'bad guys' kept changing and revealing their true colors. That was quite a change of pace! I did not, however, enjoy the romance at all. This novel did not thrill me or particularly draw me in. I would say that overall, it was an okay book.
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Anna by: mb
This is a great adventure story that mostly takes place in the Australian Outback at the turn of the century.

This is a wonderful story about outcasts, secret identities, and relationships.

Quick read!
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Golden Urchin! I think I was expecting some boring romance story but the romance played a minor role in this tale of adventure and mystery. The heroine Mitji/Meg comes from an aborigine tribe but escapes to the more "civilized" world of Australia and Victorian England with lots of learning and escapades along the way. All the main characters were likeable, especially Meg; she never felt sorry for herself and always tried to see the best ...more
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This felt a little cheesier than I remember, but it was still a fun and comforting read. Makes me want to read more of this author's books in my collection.
Honeybee Higgins
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A WONDERFUL story!!! Great twists, adventure, has it all!! I just wanted to story to keep going after it ended.
Linda Orvis
Mar 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adventure lovers
Recommended to Linda by: Vanessa H.
Shelves: historicals
I try to balance my reading with fiction, non-fiction, and fluff. Fluff being fun, escapist books that are fast to read and...well, you know. Madeleine Brent fills the bill. She is really a he named Peter O'Donnell, a British writer famous for his Modesty Blaise books. He wanted to break into the American market, so he decided that romance novels were the way to go. His/her romances are more adventure novels and don't have explicit sex in them. Golden Urchin is one of my favorites. A little girl ...more
Kalena Parker
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book! Beloved Markie, cherished Rosemary, esteemed Eliza, amusing Simon, lovable Luke, and of course Mitji, the amazing girl which through gratitude, honesty, endless love, stubbornness, kindness, and an amazing gift to always see things positively has changed the lives of these people forever. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good mysterious, action packed, romantic book with lovable characters. Everything just fits so perfectly and I've been very happy reading this book ...more
Dec 25, 2016 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference  ·  review of another edition
The first part was interesting. Not sure how accurate, but seemed researched. 'Course, even though the aborigines are described as somewhat like 'noble savages' and the girl was raised with them, she has absolutely no pangs about leaving them. Yes, they were incompletely tolerant of and kind to her, but human nature isn't logical. She apparently has absolutely no trouble adapting to the confining garments and etiquette of the white world, either, and that's when I began to be exasperated. When ...more
The Daydreamologist
I liked Moonraker's Bride better, but I'm still rating this 5 stars because it deserves it.

You know what I love most in Madeleine Brent's books? The fact that everything is explained to you. It's just so comfortable. You never feel confused about anything, unless it's intended for you to do so along with the protagonist.
I'm an officially a Madeleine Brent fan.
May 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was read from a recommendation from forever ago, so I had no expectations. I really, really enjoyed it. It was a fairly quick read (I read it in about 4-5 hours) and just fun to read-especially after reading Mutant Message Down Under. I liked the character development, the morality in it, etc. Just a great book!
Apr 23, 2015 added it
Pretty good, I enjoyed it except I couldn't get over the idea of her being a redhead and living mostly naked as an aboriginee and somehow getting 'acclimated' to the sun and not burning up. I am a redhead, and I just couldn't suspend disbelief on this issue. :)
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
More like a 4 1/2. I have been looking forward to reading this book since I read Tregaron's Daughter by the same author. I flew through it. It's an easy read with an inspiring, interesting heroine and an eclectic cast of characters. Some of the overall plot, I've read before-ahem Tregaron's Daughter-but I still truly enjoyed the read. There are twists and turns and I like the slight touch of romance that keeps the reader looking forward to the moment when all will work out. I was happy to read a ...more
I'm with others who said they didn't like Luke, as well as the ones who think it was creepy as fuck that the MMC was interested in the MFC when she was 15 and he was 29. Golden Urchin was interesting, and mostly held my attention throughout, but about the last 80% was pretty bad. Also, I understand the time period was heavily into the Christian thing, but that was annoying, and so was the hippie bullshit of allowing bad men to live. Oh yes, it was all very over dramatic and "clean", as others ...more
David Johnston
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Long out of print, I was really glad that certain books stick around much longer in library collections in large print editions when I decided to track it down. "Madeleine Brent" being primarily an adventure story writer (and male) meant he brought a different perspective to the romance novels of the 80s. He developed an effective and unique formula, a Victorian heroine who is heir to some kind of fortune but orphaned and consigned to an exotic rough life that will help her develop special ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Sometimes you just need a good romance and that is just a fact of life. I knew this would be a great book to take on a recent trip and it did not disappoint. Had just what was needed and this is the beauty of goodreads, finding those hidden gems you might have missed otherwise.

Can't say I loved Luke, he just never impressed me but I still really liked the book.
If you read this, it is important to know that Luke is a very young man. I pictured him as middle aged and it made the wrong impression.
One problem with enjoying vintage fiction is running across the occasional imperialism and casual racism. This book was loaded with more of this than I could overlook. What's more, the adventure and relationships got a little dull. This is the story of a white girl who is raised by an Aborigine tribe in Australia. As a teenager, after having grown tired of being such an outsider in her tribe, she comes across an Englishman in trouble in the Outback. This ends up leading to her learning a new ...more
Shae Burton
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I bought this book a long time ago and read it once. I came across it again and reread it. I do like the book and the story behind it. As with some books it takes a while to get into and to fully grasp what the story line is, but I will give the author some credit for throwing in the unexpected twists and turns here and there, enough to keep you involved and at least want to make sure you find out what happens in the end. Overall a good read that you would enjoy at least once.
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Madeleine Brent is a pseudonym used by Peter O'Donnell.

Peter O'Donnell was born on 11 April 1920 in Lewisham, London, England, UK. He was interested in writing as a child, and began writing professionally at the age of 16. During World War II he served in the Royal Signals Corps, and was stationed in Persia, Syria, Egypt, the Western Desert, Italy, and Greece. After the war, he worked as a comic
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