Normal view MARC view ISBD view

The Golden Age / Joan London.

By: London, Joan, 1948-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: North Sydney, NSW : Vintage Books, 2015Copyright date: ©2014Description: 242 pages ; 20 cm.ISBN: 9780857989000 :.Subject(s): Poliomyelitis -- Patients -- Western Australia -- Fiction | School text | Romance fiction, Australian | Australian fiction | Interpersonal relations -- Australia -- Fiction | Hospitals, Convalescent -- Western Australia -- Perth -- Fiction | Hospitals, Convalescent | Poliomyelitis -- Patients | Hospitals, Convalescent -- Australia -- Perth (W.A.) -- Fiction | Poliomyelitis -- Patients -- Fiction | Perth (W.A.) -- Social life and customs -- 1945- -- Fiction | Western Australia -- Perth | AustralianDDC classification: A823.3 Summary: This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home. Perth. It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio in Australia. At The Golden Age Children's Polio Convalescent Hospital in Perth, he sees Elsa, a fellow-patient, and they form a forbidden, passionate bond. The Golden Age becomes the little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs, love and desire, music, death, and poetry. Where children must learn that they are alone, even within their families.
Fiction notes: Click to open in new window
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item reserves
Default Deer Park Library
Fiction LOND Available IA2009367
Default Deer Park Library
Fiction LOND Available IA2009368
Default Deer Park Library (DIY)
Fiction LOND Issued 12/08/2019 IA2009369
Default Sydenham Library
Fiction LOND Available IA2009370
Default Keilor Library (DIY)
Fiction LOND Available IA0258099
Default Deer Park Library
Fiction LOND Issued 11/06/2019 IA0276580
Total reserves: 0

Previously published: 2014.

This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home. Perth. It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio in Australia. At The Golden Age Children's Polio Convalescent Hospital in Perth, he sees Elsa, a fellow-patient, and they form a forbidden, passionate bond. The Golden Age becomes the little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs, love and desire, music, death, and poetry. Where children must learn that they are alone, even within their families.

Adult.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Frank and Elsa, young teenage inmates of the Golden Age polio hospital, not only improve their mobility and the health problems associated with this dreaded disease but fall deeply in love. Frank and his parents are recent immigrants to Australia from war-torn Hungary and in the early 1950s lend an exotic, European air to their adopted city of Perth. After Frank is found in Elsa's bed one night by the nursing staff, they are both expelled from the hospital. Frank's parents are shocked and amazed at the nurses' prudishness, while Elsa's family wants Frank to stay away from her. Poetry becomes Frank's salvation as it helps him cope with his disability and, more important, the hospital staff's lack of faith in his and Elsa's feelings for each other. Verdict The multi-award-winning London graciously captures young love in a quiet and beautifully sculpted story that is easily devoured in one sitting. Her generous affection for humanity comes through, especially as we are instantly drawn into this cloistered world she creates at the ironically titled hospital. Highly recommended for adult and teen book discussion groups.-Barbara Love, formerly with Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Seen one way, Frank Gold is unfortunate: he and his parents are from Hungary but are now "New Australians," victims of World War II-refugees, displaced people, survivors-that Australia prides itself on having taken in. Nearly 13, he is a polio victim relearning how to walk; he's seen a friend die in an iron lung. But Frank sees himself as a poet, one of the lucky few with a vocation, and as a lover. Having seen Elsa Briggs, another patient at the Golden Age Children's Polio Convalescent Home, he knows that everything that has happened has lead him to her. London (The Good Parents) doesn't limit herself to Frank and Elsa: although short, the book feels ample, telling not just Frank's story but those of his parents, anxious pianist Ida and handsome Meyer, trying to adjust to Australia and cope with their wartime experiences; Elsa and her worried mother; and Sister Olive Penny, the Golden Age's generous and efficient head nurse. They all get time to shine in this limpid book about health and death, love and poetry, sex and hope, war and its aftermath. Like Sister Penny, London sees past people's exteriors to their complex and desirous interiors, and she generously offers those people to us in all their fullness. The novel was a recipient of multiple awards in London's native Australia, and deservedly so: it is pretty much perfect. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Koha