Review: Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett


Title: Golden Boys

Author: Sonya Hartnett

Published: Hamish Hamilton: Penguin Au August 2014

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from August 26 to 28, 2014 — I own a copy

My Thoughts:

When the affluent Jenson family move in to the neighborhood they quickly attract the attention of the local children. Colt and Bastian have a playroom full of toys, a swimming pool and a charismatic father, all of which they seem prepared to share. The Jenson home quickly becomes a haven for twelve year old Freya and the neighborhood boys, Avery, Garrick and brothers Syd and Declan, eager to escape their working class homes marred by violence, poverty and neglect, but before long the boys sense something is not quite right, and the golden aura of the Jensons begins to tarnish.

Golden Boys is set in the early to mid 1970’s, in an outer suburban locale, a landscape familiar to readers who freely roamed their neighborhood during long summer days. It explores the complex dynamics of family, childhood and friendship, and the disquieting undercurrent of violence and abuse seething beneath their ordinary facade.

Freya Kiley, struggling to understand her large family’s dynamic, sees Rex Jenson as a possible saviour, but her brother’s, Declan and Syd, begin to sense Rex is not quite what he seems. Colt is all too aware of his father’s failings but at a loss as to how to admit, or cope with them. Garrick has no such hesitation, the neighborhood bully, he, like most children, is simply certain that someone has to pay for doing wrong by him.

With finely crafted characters and evocative storytelling threaded with subtle tension, Sonya Hartnett’s Golden Boys is an artful novel.

Golden Boys is available to purchase from

Penguin AU Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Bookworld I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.





7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Danielle Binks
    Aug 31, 2014 @ 19:57:05

    I bought a copy at MWF – can’t wait to read it 🙂



  2. kathrynsinbox
    Aug 31, 2014 @ 22:28:56

    Great review. I enjoyed this one–a very quietly menacing tale in my opinion.



  3. Kate W
    Sep 01, 2014 @ 17:01:00

    Got this book last Wednesday and it’s been burning a hole in my pocket, so to speak! I had an exam today and didn’t let myself start reading until study was over. So, guess what I’m doing tonight?!



  4. Debbish
    Sep 01, 2014 @ 21:43:02

    Might need to buy this one!



  5. Brona
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 19:49:59

    Hartnett’s junior fiction and picture books are amazing fables, sounds like this one has potential too 🙂



I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s