The Golden Child

Penelope Fitzgerald

While a new exhibit lures thousands of curious spectators, it also becomes the sinister focus in a web of intrigue and murder.

The Golden Child shows how Fitzgerald’s distinctive wit and humour and her sense of the absurd were present at the very beginning of her career. It shows, as always, how acutely perceptive of human nature she is, how understanding and how forgiving. It is also, perhaps more than any other of her books, a minor comic masterpiece.

Reviews of The Golden Child

    • ‘Reading a Penelope Fitzgerald novel is like being taken for a ride in a peculiar kind of car. Everything is of top quality – the engine, the coachwork and the interior all fill you with confidence. Then, after a mile or so, someone throws the steering-wheel out of the window.’ Sebastian Faulks
    • ‘Wise and ironic, funny and humane, Fitzgerald is a wonderful, wonderful writer.’ David Nicholls
    • ‘The Golden Child is rich in the qualities which have marked Fitzgerald’s subsequent career; a pleasantly uncluttered prose style; an eye for the absurd and pretentious; the knack of being able to give comedy an undertow of menace. Most museums take themselves too seriously: here is the perfect riposte.’ Sunday Telegraph
    • ‘Penelope Fitzgerald combines some gentle mockery of museum bureaucracy and procedures and some sharp parodies – of memos, structuralist lectures, children’s essays and committee jargon – with a more serious view of the responsibilities of museums. She shows culture off-handedly inflicted by curators on a patient, suffering public, who are depicted as endlessly queuing and being systematically denied information and tea.’ TLS
    • ‘Penelope Fitzgerald’s first novel degenerates amusingly into tortuous espionage, giving hints of the wit and wisdom to come in her later award-winning books.’ Mail on Sunday