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The Golden Day MP3 CD – Unabridged, 28 April 2015
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There were only eleven of them, like eleven sisters all the same age in a large family.... On the television news they heard gunfire and the sound of helicopter blades and bombs falling. The little girls hung on to the brink of a hugeness that they knew was there but had no way of discovering.
The Vietnam War rages overseas, but back at home, in a year that begins with the hanging of one man and ends with the drowning of another, eleven schoolgirls embrace their own chilling history when their teacher abruptly goes missing on a field trip. Who was the mysterious poet they met in the garden? What actually happened that day? And most important, who can they tell about it?
In beautifully crafted prose that shimmers and fades, Ursula Dubosarsky reveals how a single shared experience can alter the course of young lives forever. Part gripping thriller, part ethereal tale of innocence lost, The Golden Day is a poignant study of fear and friendship, and of what it takes to come of age with courage.
About the Author
- Publisher : Candlewick on Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (28 April 2015)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1501227157
- ISBN-13 : 978-1501227158
- Reading age : 12 - 17 years
- Dimensions : 16.51 x 1.59 x 13.97 cm
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The vast majority of the story takes place at a private school for girls in Sydney, Australia during 1967 while the Vietnam War was going on. Our story concerns the teacher, Miss Renshaw, and the eleven girls in her elementary class named Cubby, Icara, Martine, Bethany, Georgina, Cynthia, Dierdre, Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth. The four Elizabeths are given no last names, and only differentiated by physical characteristics as height and hair style.
It seems that Ms. Renshaw has more than a passing interest in Morgan, the groundskeeper at the Ena Thompson Memorial Gardens where she regularly takes the girls on nature trips. She makes the girls complicit in her romantic diversions by telling them, "We won't mention these meetings with Morgan or other stuff will we girls...We won't mention Morgan." [p19] But the girls were a lot smarter than Miss Renshaw gave them credit for, as "They all knew...the real reason Miss Renshaw want to go out into the gardens that morning. It was not to think about death. Miss Renshaw wanted to see Morgan."
Soon after Miss Renshaw takes her class, with Morgan leading them, to some nearby Aboriginal caves supposedly to see the cave drawings at which time she and Morgan vanish. Yet as the girls pledged not to reveal anything about Morgan, they can't fully tell what happens to the authorities. The rest of the book is about just what happened and how it affects each of their lives.
The book is a close copy of an earlier book along very similar lines which was originally released by another Australian author Joan W. Lindsay in 1967 and was called PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK Picnic at Hanging Rock after which a 1975 movie also titled Picnic at Hanging Rock (The Criterion Collection) by Peter Weir was made. The only major plot difference between those two items and the current story is that in the PICNIC version the story takes place on Valentines Day of 1900 and two girls plus a teacher go missing. That book and the movie are also highly recommended.
Later in this story the girls get into a lively discussion about whether ghosts really exist, and if they do, can they live outdoors or must they be confined to interiors. The relevance of this doesn't become important until near the end of the book, so I won't spoil it for you, but do pay attention to who says what about it. Here it differs from the PICNIC book version.
The current story is very well told with a somewhat feminine and romantic writing style that imparts enough mystery to attract adults interested in some good clean scary storytelling. Highly recommended.
While this book invokes the misty edges of fairy land, it is in no way a child's story. In fact it is the story of the slow emergence of the woman from a child. One can read the prose at its lovely surface presentation, or be drawn to the darker symbolism of life emerging from the end of other realities. The escape from the dark, primal cave itself has marked the little girls forever, and that symbolism remains universal in the world's symbolism. In a difficult task, the author successfully portrays very young girls in distinct and dimensional terms. The first part of this book returns us seamlessly to that time when reality is clearly distinct from the world of adults, and their actions are clouded in in their own purpose. This book is a little pearl of that time, set in the that magical world of the continent that seems to hold some extra charge.
teacher's secret when she disappears on a field trip, but did she really disappear? She may have
eloped with the gardener, or been murdered. Maybe she returns years later on Remembrance Day,
or maybe not.