When their teacher goes missing during an outing, eleven girls grapple with the aftermath in this haunting, exquisitely told psychological mystery. The Vietnam War rages overseas, but back at home, in a year that begins with the hanging of one man and ends with the drowning of another, eleven schoolgirls embrace their own chilling history when their teacher abruptly goes missing on a field trip. Who was the mysterious poet they had met in the Garden? What actually happened in the seaside cave that day? And most important — who can they tell about it? In beautifully shimmering prose, Ursula Dubosarsky reveals how a single shared experience can alter the course of young lives forever. Part gripping thriller, part ethereal tale of innocence lost, The Golden Day is a poignant study of fear and friendship, and of what it takes to come of age with courage.
Blending mystery with coming-of-age themes, Dubosarsky s novel, set in 1967 at an Australian all-girls school, explores a class s response to the unexplained disappearance of their teacher. Miss Renshaw, lover of poetry and hater of capital punishment, takes her group of 11 little girls on a field trip to visit a public memorial garden and think about death. There they meet an odd groundskeeper named Morgan, who leads them into a cave to see ancient Aboriginal paintings. The girls exit safely, but Miss Renshaw and Morgan do not reappear, and the girls return to school as the tide sweeps in. The incident, later reported to authorities, bonds the girls as each faces bewilderment, guilt, and grief when it becomes clear their teacher will not likely return. Dubosarsky (The Word Snoop) subtly shows the impact of the tragedy through fragments of conversations, observations, and memories, while expertly sketching a cast of vulnerable, inquisitive children and ridiculous authority figures. Laced with humor amid a steady feeling of dread, the atmospheric narrative chillingly evokes lurking forces capable of tarnishing even the most golden and innocent of days. Ages 12 up.