The Golden Child

Psychological Thriller / Commercial Fiction

by Wendy James
February 2017 – HarperCollins Australia
September 2018 – Skyhorse (US)

Beth Mahony is a stay-at-home mother of two daughters, Lucy and Charlotte. She’s also a blogger, whose alter ego, Lizzie, paints a picture of a busy, happy life. Originally from Australia, Beth and her family have lived in New Jersey for ten years. When an opportunity to relocate to Australia arises, the Mahonys decide to return to their native country. The move comes at the perfect time: Charlotte, the youngest daughter, has been accused of being the ringleader of a clique of girls whose dangerous initiation rites leave a child in the hospital.

In Australia, Lucy and Charlotte attend a prestigious all-girls school, and Beth and her husband gradually settle into their new life. The almost immediately popular Charlotte is thrust back into the spotlight when she is blamed for cyberbullying a classmate to the point of suicide. With Charlotte refusing to take the blame, the bullied child’s parents seeking retribution, and her husband and mother-in-law doubting Charlotte’s innocence, Beth is forced to examine her children’s actions critically―at a heartbreaking cost.

THE GOLDEN CHILD tells the story of two families’ heartbreaking realization that there are no guarantees when it comes to parenting. The novel grapples with modern-day specters of selfies, selfishness, and cyberbullying to uncover the anxieties of both girl- and motherhood.

Wendy James is the author of seven novels, including THE MISTAKE, an Australian bestseller. Her debut novel, OUT OF THE SILENCE, won the 2006 Ned Kelly Award for first crime novel, and was shortlisted for the Nita May Dobbie Award for women’s writing. She has a PhD from the University of New England and works as an editor at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University. Wendy lives in New South Wales, Australia with her husband and two of their four children.


“A wonderful, unputdownable story by a great Australian author” — Liane Moriarty, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller BIG LITTLE LIES