Max Walker is a golden boy. Attractive, intelligent, and athletic, he’s the perfect son, the perfect friend, and the perfect crush for the girls in his school. He’s even really nice to his little brother. Karen, Max’s mother, is a highly successful criminal lawyer, determined to maintain the façade of effortless excellence she has constructed through the years. Now that the boys are getting older, now that she won’t have as much control, she worries that the façade might soon begin to crumble. Adding to the tension, her husband, Steve, has chosen this moment to stand for election to Parliament. The spotlight of the media is about to encircle their lives.
The Walkers are hiding something, you see. Max is special. Max is different. Max is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won’t his parents talk about it? What else are they hiding from Max about his condition and from each other? The deeper Max goes, the more questions emerge about where it all leaves him and what his future holds, especially now that he’s starting to fall head over heels for someone for the first time in his life. Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Will anyone ever want him—desire him— once they know? And the biggest one of all, the question he has to look inside himself to answer: Who is Max Walker, really?
Written by twenty-five-year-old rising star Abigail Tarttelin, Golden Boy is a novel you’ll read in one sitting but will never forget; at once a riveting tale of a family in crisis, a fascinating exploration of identity and a coming-of-age story like no other.
Read an Excerpt
My brother gets all As at school, and is generally always nice to everybody. He is on the county football team, which trains and plays at his high school, and they rotate captain between the three best players, which is him and his best friends, so for one month out of every three, he is captain of the team. People like him because he is fair and always calls out the names of the other players to support them and claps when they win, plus if they won because of someone else’s goal, he will always make sure that that person holds the trophy in the picture for the paper. He is like the perfect one of the two of us. Whenever my family... see more
Hear an Excerpt
Reading Group Guide
Max Walker is a true “golden boy” in everyone’s eyes—his mother’s, his brother’s, his teachers’, friends, and the girls at school. His parents are also very successful and are local celebrities in the affluent suburb where they live, especially now that Max’s father is standing for a seat in Parliament. But Max is hiding something: he is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won’t his parents talk about it? Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Who is Max Walker really? Told from multiple perspectives, including Max, his brother Daniel, his mother Karen, his father Steve, his doctor Archie, and the “kook” Sylvie, who has stolen his heart, Golden Boy is a riveting tale of a family in crisis, a fascinating exploration of identity, and a coming-of-age story like no other.
Topics & Questions for Discussion see more