Saturday Sneak-Peek: Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett

One of the novels I've recently requested is Sonya Hartnett's latest, Golden Boys.

Due for release on 27 August by Penguin Books Australia, this novel is about two brothers who seem to have it all.

Here's the blurb:

"With their father, there's always a catch ...

Colt Jenson and his younger brother Bastian have moved to a new, working class suburb. The Jensons are different. Their father, Rex, showers them with gifts – toys, bikes, all that glitters most – and makes them the envy of the neighbourhood.

To Freya Kiley and the other local kids, the Jensons are a family from a magazine, and Rex a hero – successful, attentive, attractive, always there to lend a hand. But to Colt he's an impossible figure in a different way – unbearable, suffocating. Has Colt got Rex wrong, or has he seen something in his father that will destroy their fragile new lives?

Sonya Hartnett's third novel for adults is an unflinching and utterly compelling work from one of Australia's finest writers."

It certainly does sound like a compelling read and I am looking forward to it reaching the top of my pile.

Sonya's work has won numerous Australian and international literary prizes and has been published around the world.

Uniquely, she is acclaimed for her stories for adults, young adults and children.

Her accolades include the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Of A Boy), The Age Book of the Year (Of A Boy), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize (Thursday's Child), the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for both Older and Younger Readers (Forest, The Silver Donkey, The Ghost's Child, The Midnight Zoo and The Children of the King), the Victorian Premier's Literary Award (Surrender), shortlistings for the Miles Franklin Award (for both Of a Boy and Butterfly) and the CILP Carnegie Medal (The Midnight Zoo).

Hartnett is also the first Australian recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2008).

In 2014, Sonya will also be publishing her third picture book, The Wild One.

For more information on Sonya and her writing, please visit her website.

Here's a taste of the extract on Penguin's website:

"With their father, there's always a catch: the truth is enough to make Colt take a step back. There's always some small cruelty, an unpleasant little hoop to be crawled through before what's good may begin: here is a gift, but first you must guess its colour. Colt's instinct is to warn his brother – Bastian, don't – as if away from a cliff 's edge or some quaggy sinkhole, but doing so risks leaving him stranded, alone like someone fallen overboard in the night, watching a boat full of revellers sail on. Bastian will want to play. Their mother will say, in her voice of reined-in dismay, 'It's just a bit of fun.'

As the eldest he gets to guess first, so he guesses, 'Blue.'

Their father shakes his head happily. 'Nope! Bas?'

Bastian is prone to birdiness, his whole world one of those plastic kitchens in which girls make tea from petals and water. He guesses, 'Yellow?' as though it's perfectly possible their father would bring home for his two boys a bicycle coloured yellow.

'Nope again!' Their father is cheered, rather than nonplussed, by the attempt. 'Colt?'

Already Colt feels they've run out of colours. 'Green?'

'Not green. Your guess, Bas.'

Colt lets his shoulders fall. He looks at his mother, who is lingering by the leather recliner where their father would be sitting if he wasn't standing by the mantelpiece conducting this game ..."

For more of that extract, visit the book's page on Penguin's website here.


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