Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Golden Child by Penelope Fitzgerald

The Golden Child is Fitzgerald's first novel.  I decided to begin with her first novel because it is a mystery and involves a museum.

I'm feeling quite guilty about this one because Fitzgerald's reputation is so high and so many bloggers have loved her books... and I didn't love this one.  

It is a satirical novel about the museums and museum personnel, but I found the satire more on the bitter, biting side than I like.  

Here is a bit from Amazon reviewer Kerry Fried:
Penelope Fitzgerald's first novel is packed with institutional follies and fiercely territorial old trouts. Set in a London museum whose officers only appear august, The Golden Child literally proves that authorities are clowns and clowns authorities.
I completely agree with the phrase "authorities are clowns and clowns authorities" portion because Fitzgerald employs this technique of reversal.  Unfortunately, nothing much about the characters or plot engaged me as I'd hoped..

Fiction.  Mystery/Satire.  1999.  188 pages.


  1. I have always been curious about her, but I have never read her.

  2. I will read my first penelope Fitzgerald this year but maybe not thsi one. I think I might start with The Bookshop.

  3. Kailana - I've read quite a few blog reviews about Fitzgerald's books, and she is critically acclaimed. Since this is the only thing I've read, I'm not sure if the problem with my feelings about this particular novel, or if it is the style.

    Caroline - Have seen several reviews of The Bookshop online and most have been enthusiastic!