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The Golden Child

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,905 ratings  ·  276 reviews
Can bad children happen to good mothers?

Blogger Lizzy's life is buzzing, happy, normal. Two gorgeous children, a handsome husband, destiny under control. For her real-life alter-ego Beth, things are unravelling. Tensions are simmering with her husband, mother-in-law and even her own mother. Her teenage daughters, once the objects of her existence, have moved beyond her gr
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 23rd 2017 by Harper Collins
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,905 ratings  ·  276 reviews

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Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
As I went through my usual routine of checking my social media accounts first thing in the morning, today I came across an all too familiar item in my news feed. A story posted through a relative in the UK, came to my attention. A 14 year old girl tragically took her own life after a secret battle against cyber-bullies. The teenager’s mother only found out about the torment her daughter was subjected to when messages were uncovered from the teenager girl’s phone. This article not only broke my h ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book hits on the very real issue that is happing with the children of today, which is bullying and not just in the school yard, but also cyberbullying. Unfortunately we are hearing more and more about it and in this book Aussie author Wendy James has performed an amazing job of taking us on a journey of just how that affects not only the victim, but the whole family.

The Golden Child was an engrossing read from beginning to end. Even though this book is fiction, I think anyone who has a chi
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it

Right from the start, I was HOOKED! I honestly couldn’t stop listening. I kept setting the timer because it was getting late. I thought I would eventually drift off, but I actually stayed up until I finished it at 5:00am.

I find that sometimes an ending can really make or break a book and I thought the ending of this book was perfect!

A gripping and entertaining read about parenting, friendship, bullying, cybercrime and more! I’m really looking forward to reading more from this author.
When Dan Mahony informed his wife Beth that they would be returning home to Australia, she immediately thought they’d move to Sydney. But his clarification that the transfer would be to Newcastle, where both her mother-in-law AND her mother lived – well Beth was horrified to say the least! They had lived in New Jersey, USA for some time. Their girls, Lucy and Charlotte (Charlie) had grown up there, gone to school there – it was their home. Out of the two though, Charlie was the one who was most ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Oh My!! What a read!!!!!!

My View:
I had great difficulty reading this book. Let me explain; I love the cover, I love this author’s work, and liked the synopsis, I wanted to read this book. I started reading, I put the book down. I felt so much apprehension, so much dread, so evocative is the writing I could not go on - it was the fear of what I knew was coming – something really, really bad. I picked up the book again. I could not stop!

This book has probably the lowest level of violence in all t
The Golden Child is a contemporary domestic thriller at its finest!

Wendy James, an Australian suspense, award-winning author, has created a tale that is as timely as it is chilling. With news of younger school shooters, children bullying one another online and in person and the suicide rate climbing in all industrialized nations, James has captured the essence of that drama and fear of every parent – “could my child do this?”

To the outside world and even to the blogging community, Beth and D
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How well do we really know our children? Beth Mahoney seemingly has the perfect family, a loving husband and two lovely daughters, 15 y old Lucie, quiet and well behaved, doing well at school and 12y old Charlotte (Charlie to her friends and family), more outgoing and popular and also smart. Beth has enjoyed being a full time mother while they lived in the US and has a popular blog where she talks about everyday domestic situations. Her girls have never been any trouble. Charlie recently made a ...more
This was a fast read that was mostly undertaken in my car on a trip home from 'way out west' literally in the NSW outback. This was a fast-paced read on a contemporary theme of bullying on social media. There was a twist I should have picked up way earlier than I did.

I always enjoy a setting that is local, and Newcastle is a great setting. Two siblings, a cocky popular girl, and her older sister, who is more reserved and thoughtful from her sometimes mean younger sister.

Relocating back to Sydne
Dale Harcombe
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars
It’s been several days since I finished reading this book and I have been thinking about my response to it. The story concerns two families, Beth and Andi are friends. Charlotte, one of Beth’s two daughters is thrown into a parent induced pseudo friendship with Andi’s musically gifted but socially unpopular daughter Sophie. There is teasing and cruelty in the private girls’ school. But then events spiral beyond anyone’s control. More than friendships are destroyed. This is
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gosh what a great book, I started today at 50% read and just finished it tonight, couldn't put it down. Such a topical and somewhat sad reflection on life today. A story that had so many elements to it - social media, bullying, working mothers, sibling rivalry, jealousy, suicide, loneliness, I could go on and on.

Hard to reveal too much without spoilers but it involves two girls at school and bullying. I would like to say that this book should be read by every teenager and parent of a school age
Shelleen Toland
Beth Mahony is a stay-at-home mother of two daughters, Lucy and Charlotte. She's also a blogger, whose alter ego, Lizzie, paints a picture of a busy, happy life. Originally from Australia, Beth and her family have lived in New Jersey for ten years. When an opportunity to relocate to Australia arises, the Mahonys decide to return to their native country. The move comes at the perfect time: Charlotte, the youngest daughter, has been accused of being the ringleader of a clique of girls whose danger ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is utterly brilliant. I just don't even know where to start with a review - it was compelling, it was tragic, it was clever, it was frightening, it was heartbreaking, it was shocking and it gave me shivers and it made me question myself as a parent.

I freaking loved it.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

What would you do if your tween daughter was accused of poisoning a classmate?

What would you do if a few months later, she’s accused of bullying another classmate so badly the girl attempts suicide?

Beth faces these questions about her youngest daughter Charlie/Charlotte. Beth answers those questions with denial and excuses, thankful older daughter Lucy is a kind, easy child.

When stories like THE GOLDEN CHILD have great premises and poor executions, I feel disappointed. Wendy Heard plot
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this gripping read for sure - set in a town I am familiar with as well made me feel even more connected to the characters! With cyber bullying as the crux to this book, and yes, I had already guessed the twist at the end quite early on in the book, I can tell you this is a fantastic, page turning read. I was tossing up whether to give the book 4 or 5 stars purely because I will next give this book to my mother in her 70's who has no idea what blogs and such are and after giving her a simil ...more
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
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Feb 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
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Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness! Is it too early in the year to call my top book of 2017? WOW! Amazing story - was glued to book all weekend.
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

The writing was very bland and the characters somewhat annoying but the plot was intriguing and the topic of cyber-bullying was well dealt with
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
The Golden Child is the fifth book by Australian author, Wendy James. This contemporary novel got my attention a long time a go with it's eye catching cover of lollipops so I took the chance to snap it up when I came across it in a charity shop. Dealing with themes of bullying and social media in Australia , this is a relevant read for parents and those who work with children across the world. Told in the third person, James presents four points of view; Beth (the mother of Charlotte), Andi (the ...more
There is a reason why Wendy James is one of my favourite Australian authors, and this book shows exactly why! All the stars from me. Oh, the sheer menace that was oozing out of this book – it made the hair on the back of my neck prickle and gave me nightmares.

How well do you know your children? If you have a cute little baby you may smile serenely and a bit smugly. At toddler age, it starts to dawn that maybe there is more to this parenting thing than you realised. As they turn into teenagers,
Beth has two daughters, Lucy and Charlotte. Her online alter ego Lizzie lives a perfect life; however, in real life, Beth's world is somewhat less rosy. She has recently moved from New Jersey to Newcastle and is struggling with the transition, while her youngest daughter, Charlotte, is apparently bullying other children at her exclusive private school. What is Beth to do as her world crumbles around her?

All of the teenagers in this book are miserable and I think this is largely due to the awful
Eugenia (Genie In A Book)
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Golden Child is an enthralling domestic drama, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty. Australian author Wendy James has a sharp eye for the anxieties of being a parent, especially when a child may not be as perfect as they seem. With alternating perspectives and blog posts throughout, the characters are made all the more realistic. This is a truly gripping read, I couldn't put it down! ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A domestic thriller about teenage bullying told from the alternating perspectives of the bully, the victim and both their mothers, interspersed with blog posts and social media exchanges.

Can bad children happen to good mothers? It was that question on the cover that sucked me in. I grabbed this book without even reading the blurb and I was not disappointed. I sat on the edge of my seat, I giggled, I swore this could never happen to me, I tweeted the author to tell her how much I was enjoying it
Danielle McGregor
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3.5*

When I first began reading this book I thought it was a breezy, quick read. Part way through I was bored with the 'mundane' of teenage girls, 3/5 through I got interested again and it wasn't until right at the end I saw the twist that was coming. In this sense, it was a cleverly designed book.
Do I have the desire to read it again - hmmm, probably not. Do elements of this book scare me as I am now a parent? Definitely! Does it reflect a world that teenagers live in? Unfortunat
Eleanor Whitwell
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
There were a number of things which didn't ring true and I found the ending a little unsatisfying but overall a good read. ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘It could have been a whole lot worse.’

Beth Mahony and her husband Dan have been living in New Jersey, USA for long enough for their daughters Lucy and Charlotte (Charlie) to consider it home. So, while Beth is initially delighted when Dan tells her that they will be returning home to Australia, Lucy and Charlie are not. Beth hasn’t been able to work in the USA, and part of her energy has been spent blogging as Lizzy on Beth used to be a journalist, and this is one way to practic
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beth, who writes blogs as Lizzy, her husband Dan, and their 2 daughters, 14 year old Lucy and 12 year old Charlotte are moving from New Jersey to Newcastle, Australia. This move for Dan's work is helpful because Charlotte got into a bit of trouble at school. Charlotte is very pretty with a forceful personality and the leader of a group of popular girls. She's blamed when someone got hurt at an initiation to the group. Once in Australia, Charlotte forms another clique at school and starts being m ...more
Jackie Robinson
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Yeah look....I kind of guessed the ending, I had a feeling there'd be a twist. But the way they approached the ending, I think it was a bit of a let down.
I'm not usually a fan of books in present tense unless they're incredibly well done, so that let it down a little bit. The overuse of slang and abbreviation was annoying.
Overall, it wasn't a bad book, and was engaging regardless of the things I've mentioned.
Not bad, 3.5 stars.
Renita D'Silva
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brilliant and nuanced.
Maureen DeLuca
*sigh* I just didn't like this like many others did- and TBH - I really didn't even finish it - oh well, just one of those things I guess :-/ ...more
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Wendy James is the celebrated author of eight novels, including the bestselling The Mistake and the compelling The Golden Child, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Ned Kelly Award for crime. Her debut novel, Out of the Silence, won the 2006 Ned Kelly Award for first crime novel, and was shortlisted for the Nita May Dobbie award for women's writing. Wendy works as an editor at the Australian Instit ...more

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