The Golden Day
In the year of 1967, one golden day in a cove by the sea, eleven young girl’s lives change forever in a chilling event that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. It all starts with a relative simplicity—their teacher, Miss Renshaw, in her geometric patterned dress and eccentric persona, taking them out to the gardens to think about death. Morgan, a mysterious poet and docile caretaker of the garden’s grounds slowly enticing, charming, persuading Miss Renshaw to let him lead the girls down the beach to a cove by the sea, to see a secret, to see a piece of time itself. A lost hat, a long walk. A gaping mouth leading to a cave full of voices. Darkness. Fear. Paintings, soulful and tortured. Little girl’s screams. A teacher’s call. And, suddenly, eleven little girls are outside the cave again, breathing, waiting, watching for their teacher and the enigmatic poet to emerge. Yet no one comes, no one escapes from the cage that is the cove. They are asked over and over what happened that day—who was there, what went on, their thoughts, their actions, yet, over and over, they can only remember Miss Renshaw’s whispered words—“It will be our little secret”…….”Don’t tell, don’t tell.” The girls stay steadfast, copying down spelling words, memorizing dates, figuring fractions, all fielding questions and coming to terms with the full effect of their excursion to the sea. Yet, with all the hope and hope they hold, they can’t help put all have the voice in the back of their head that they all have head since that fateful day-- Not now. Not ever.
“Suddenly the sounds of the classroom….faded in her ears. She had that bleak feeling that she’d had in the cave, of being alone. She stared at the blackboard. She felt sick. Because words were forming there……four clear, simple words. Not now. Not ever.”
I felt that this book was definitely on the more sinister/morbid side, but found it pretty disappointing for a couple of reasons. Almost from the very beginning foreshadowing the happenstance of bad things to come, the tone meant to create a scene that kept you on pins and needles. However, I felt that this creepiness was slightly overdone. The author just seemed to try too hard to make sure you realized something bad was going to happen. The characters were hard to relate to—the purpose was to make the reader pity or sympathize with the girls, but I just found them annoying and juvenile. I also felt that many things mentioned in the novel were unrelated to the plot, with extravagant distribution of characters and other plot lines that led to nowhere. Two girls were the only characters that were explored in-depth, and even then, the writing was vague. Though the author had a wonderful vocabulary and prose to make the book sound refined and polished, I still felt that the book could have been better to make a more enjoyable read.
“That’s what they were waiting for….Miss Baskerville would speak, and they would know what had really happened. Any moment now.”
I would recommend this book for ages ten and up, because, though there is no profanity or other indecency, there is that undertone of horridness and fear the could disturb younger readers.
The eleven girl’s lives changed the one day in the cave by the sea. Will The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky change yours, too?