Set in a children's polio convalescent home in Western Australia in the 1950s, the novel centers on the budding friendship between two 13-year-old patients, Elsa Briggs and Frank Gold, and the adults around them, who seem to have more difficulty coping than they do.
The Golden Age is the rare novel that makes its reader want to cry at almost every single page, but manages to be uplifting at the same time ... The novel’s passages about both the war and the disease are spare but no less brutal for that, leaving the imagination to do the hard work of understanding just what the characters have endured.
London's luminous prose that propels the book forward ... The Golden Age is a beautiful love story that insists upon celebrating the transcendent power of poetry and art over the destructive forces of fear, despair and xenophobia.