The Golden Book


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Jessie had said they
should go at midnight. ‘It’s the gods’ time,’ she said, narrowing her
eyes dramatically. ‘Anything could happen.’

It’s the
1980s, and in their small coastal town, Ali and her best friend,
Jessie, are on the cusp. With ‘The Golden Book’, a journal of
incantation and risk taking as their record, they begin to chafe at the
restrictions put on them by teachers, parents, each other. Then Jessie
suffers a devastating accident, and both their lives are forever

When Ali is an adult, with a young daughter herself, the
news of Jessie’s death brings back the intensity of that summer, forcing
her to reckon with her own role in what happened to Jessie so many
years ago.

As this stunning debut moves back and forth in time,
and Ali’s secrets are forced into the light, Kate Ryan asks profound
questions about responsibility and blame, and, ultimately, about love.

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