Rising literary star Abigail Tarttelin launched her second novel Golden Boy in London last week. It’s one of those books that you’ll just want to stay up all night and read.
It’s a coming of age story about Max Walker – the Golden Boy, the perfect son, the best friend. The girls at school like him and he’s so nice to his little brother but Max has a secret and is betrayed in the worst possible way by his best friend. Max was born with forty-six XX chromosomes and forty-six XY chromosomes, which makes him intersex. He was brought up as boy, had hormone treatments, plays football – he looks like any other boy. His family is nurturing and loving but they don’t really talk about Max being intersex, it’s Archie, his physician who tries to guide him. Max is like any other teenager, he falls in love, he thinks about his future and wants to be accepted.
The story is told through the first person narrative giving us all the characters’ point of view and their experiences. I was more invested in all the characters because of this insight, I felt like I was on an emotional journey. This is one of those books that’s going to gain its own momentum by friends recommending to friends. It’s a story that needs to be told and discussed plus it reads like a film.
I attended Abigail’s book launch in London celebrating with cake and champagne at Drink, Shop and Do. Abigail’s publisher said after she read just the first two pages of Golden Boy she knew the book was special (I was hooked after reading the first few pages as well). I met Abigail a few years ago as she is the Books Editor at Phoenix magazine. So during this past year I’ve been really excited hearing little bits about Golden Boy and just wanting to read it. Abigail is one of those people that I just love chatting with for hours over a glass of wine. She’s intelligent, thoughtful and fun, and above all she’s interested in everything around her and how it’s all connected. At sixteen Abigail trained with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and the New York Film Academy. She wrote her debut novel, Flick, published in the UK in 2011, which was acclaimed as a ‘cult classic’ by GQ.