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Worth reading 😎

If you like long family novels spanning across generations with long held secrets, Gold is for you.

Gold by Thomas Greenbank has all the ingredients of a page turner. It has a straight forward plot, characters that are tied to the main plot and help further it rather than creating their own sub plots, a well defined villain whose villainy runs like a spine through the whole story, setting the tone for other characters and events. The plot has almost all the top current affair issues - misogyny, drug abuse and exploitation of aboriginals by a mining company.

If you have started feeling I am accusing the novel of being trite, you may be right. But Gold hardly pretends to be anything else.

Gold is an unpretentious genre novel narrating the story of two generations of the Kincaid family. Malcolm and Jamie, two brothers, start a mining company. They have hardly anything in common. Malcolm is an aggressive go-getter who doesn’t hesitate to resort to unethical practices to meet his ends, whereas Jamie is a sensitive and considerate human being.

Racheal is Malcolm’s girlfriend. Jarred by Malcolm’s psychotically aggressive personality, Racheal eventually gravitates towards the sensitive Jamie. However, in a twist of events, one day, Malcolm and Racheal find themselves alone. Malcolm and violates her. Racheal gives birth to Lachie and Jamie dies in a road accident.

Lachie is more like Jamie, sensitive and idealistic, than his biological father Malcolm. They coexist despite their differences - their paths crossing and diverging again - until an incident related to mining brings them into conflict.

The novel is lengthy – at 590 plus pages – but Thomas has managed to maintain the tautness of its narrative.

It picks up at the beginning, then it slows down a bit, only to pick up again at the end to deliver a conclusive and a bit unexpected denouement. However, there are subplots Thomas doesn’t conclude. Lachie never comes to know that Malcolm was his biological father. A promising subplot concerning Racheal’s mother receives a short shrift. I am not sure if they were deliberately overlooked as they were not part of the main storyline or were oversights.  

Gold took me back to Sidney Sheldon and Jeffery Archer warts and all. The characters are a bit one-dimensional, but you identify with them. The chapters are short - you can race through several of them in one sitting. It’s an easy read - the hours spent reading it will not leave you stressed. It’s absorbing – and you will crave to return to it, to know what happens next.

The novel has a strange aspect to it: a made-for-the-youth feel. Its world is mostly occupied by young characters (college goers or fresh graduates just starting their lives). The first half of the novel is mostly inhabited by Malcolm, Jamie and Racheal when they are young and the second Lachie, his wife and friends when they are young.

The old get very little of the plot space. So the dialogues exchanged between the characters, their concerns, challenges and worldview, everything has a very youthful feeling to it. I am not sure whether it was deliberate, or it just happened. But I enjoyed reading Gold and if you like fast-paced narrative and a book you can live with for a while without feeling tired, you will like it too.

Reviewed by

I am a working professional. I have been writing for many years. I have published some of my works in various publications. I like to read and read quite widely. I bring that experience to the book reviews I write.

Kalgoorlie, Mid-December 1975

About the author

In 2016, I retired to pursue a dream many years in the making. The result was my first novel, GOLD!. GOLD! was listed as a finalist in the 2020 Page Turner Writing Award and is due for release soon. These days I live in Adelaide, South Australia, with my wife; #1 fan and biggest critic, Lind... view profile

Published on December 10, 2020

Published by

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Reviewed by