Thursday, August 22, 2013
The Golden Day
Genre: Historical, Mystery
Description: One day Miss Renshaw takes the 11 girls in her class on a “field trip” to some Aboriginal caves to see some cave drawings her “friend” Morgan, a poet, wants to show off. While there the girls get separated from Miss Renshaw and make their way back to their school. When they arrive safely everyone—teachers, parents, police officials—wants to know what exactly happened that “golden day.” Unfortunately, the girls don’t know what to say because they had promised their teacher that they would never tell anyone about their meetings in the Ena Thompson Memorial Gardens where Miss Renshaw frequently took them while she chatted with Morgan. For years the girls wonder what exactly happened to their beloved teacher . . .
Opinion: This is an Australian import. I agree with a reviewer on Amazon that the plot is very similar to another Australian novel, The Picnic at Hanging Rock. I was compelled to read the story because it was short basically and I was really hoping for an explanation as to what exactly happened in the caves that day and what, if anything, would be explained about Miss Renshaw. Unfortunately, for a teen book that even Amazon says can be for younger readers, I found it to be way too literary. Some teens may like that but most would put it down despite the small size of the book. It seemed more like a book that should be for adults as the writing style was very literary and the characters were younger than most teens (they are in elementary school). I also found it odd that the teacher was constantly able to leave school with the girls and take them to the gardens where she had her rendezvous with Morgan. The ending just adds more mystery to the story (adding a ghost-like element to the plot) and doesn’t help really answer any questions. It’s alright for a short read, but I don’t find it attracting many fans.
Thanks to the people at Candlewick for the ARC for the YALSA YA Galley Group!