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THE GOLDEN AGE

Four-year-old Ingrid lives a charmed, serene life in Hong Kong. It is a magical world rife with dragons, trolls, elves, and daily wonder due to her fascination with nature. But upon turning five, she becomes increasingly aware that dangerous animals, bacteria, and diseases also lurk in her world, and that they are capable of tearing her life apart, like villains from her storybooks. Will Ingrid discover the true magic that she possesses, and will she know how to use it? Or will she lose all that she cherishes?

Book Reviews

'Dear Marianne.  I have to tell you this.  Now it is 9 pm in France.  My 11-year-old is sleeping later.  Why?  She is reading your book.  We rediscovered your book while we were changing room for our boy.  She took it, liked how it looks and… Sleeping late because she loves the story, the humour, la finesse !!  Thank you again and please please : keep writing books for our children and for us ✨✨✨✨✨  She really liked the very well-constructed story of Ingrid's birth, the typhoon, her Chinese astrological sign ✨✨  The evening before going to bed she told me once: I can't wait to find Ingrid!  Your book really does a lot of good! She smiles, she laughs ! ... She really likes it, she can't wait to discover volumes 2 and 3. You are a very talented author !! Where can I buy volume 2 to send to France ?  Belle journée ☀️'

'As a person who lives in Hong Kong with a foreigner's eyes, this book, "Golden Age" was very interesting with full of excitement to see the lifestyle and events those could've been something ordinary for HongKongers but it could've been a very special for foreigners. The family with four year old Ingrid travels also to other continent, this book brought me to the cities where I have been, so I felt like travelling with this family with vivid and lively description done by Author. It is highly recommended for kids and also for parents who has a child who dreams about the fairies and adventures. All characters in the novel were so lovely. I could've thought about friendship from the kids' interaction at the school also meaning of family from the always caring mother with deep and considerate warm heart and father who struggled to survive for family. It is such a beautiful story!!' H.E. OH

'Wow, this was an amazing book, so full of happiness, laughter, teamwork and hope. I loved that it was set in my home city of Hong Kong, I could really relate to so many things in the story, the places, customs, even some of Hong Kongs real-life people, such as Goti Toni, who I got to meet. I also loved that this book includes animals, magic and nature. I liked all the characters with their different personalities.  It was not only a fun story to read but an educational one too. I loved the illustration on the front of the book, I would recommend this book to anyone, of any reading age, even adults too.' 

'A marvelous novel that incorporates/fuses the classic fairy tales with magic and wonder. The Golden Age presents a wonderful contrast of the different cultures, which creates a unique and fascinating tale to read. With the story set in multicultural Hong Kong, there are many characteristics I find super entertaining because of the use of local phrases, cuisines, and languages are not featured anywhere else in the world. I believe what truly makes this book captivating, is the way it is able to appeal to all ages, as it displays so many features of our favorite childhood characters and themes, as well as introduce so much more enjoyable content that is relatable and delightful to read.' -Christine

Thoughtful and contemplative ★★★★★

'To consider The Golden Age, a beautifully written book, as just a children’s book would not be wrong. However, initially intended to read this book for my daughters, I found myself deeply invested in the story and selfishly reading it alone. The book is written intuitively, with attention paid to the psychology of a child, but in fact the experiences of the main [child] character, evoked my personal memories as a child. I could relate. Anderson’s character study and development is thoughtful and genuine. I would describe the experience of reading the story is like similar to reading a non-fiction biography. Another aspect of the book I really enjoyed was how well the writer understood Hong Kong people, culture and the city itself—her noticing the contrast between the left over colonial buildings in contrast to the modern high rises, her understanding of the zodiac animals and how she integrated them to her story, and even the way she expresses the locals’ conversations show her awareness and attention to details. In short, this is a must-read book for all, but particularly those interested in HK-life, those who want to move to HK, and those who want to tell their children a story and teach them diversity, I feel, would appreciate even more.' soemoney 

'I thought of you after reading this beautiful quote from Roald Dahl 📚🌸 I love your passion for words & your book "The Golden Age" - well done.' T.G.

'Ton livre... est avec moi !! Dans mes bagages à mains 😃😃😃 Oh... Marianne, il est superbe, j'aime beaucoup ton style et ton humour! Ton livre est très riche, j'aime le lire par petites doses, comme quand on mange de bons chocolats!' C.L., France  Translation: Your book... is with me !! In my hand luggage 😃😃😃 Oh... Marianne, it is superb, I love your style and your humour! Your book is very rich, I like to read it in small doses, like when one eats good chocolates!' C.L., France

'One of my favourite books is The Golden Age by Marianne Andersen. It is a story about , elves, trolls dragons and a beautiful a 5-year old Ingrid and her inner confidence and magic to fight for everything she believes, it’s a charming book and transports you to your own childhood through every page. I can read this book over and over again. From the very beginning until the end Marianne has a genuine love and passion for writing and it shows in this wonderful storytelling. I would definitely recommend this book because it keeps you reading without ever wanting to put the book down. By the end of the book you come to love the characters and you want to read more. Happy Reading!' - bakbamboo

'The Golden Age is a wonderful journey into the myriad worlds of new discovery, old tales retold and the fantastic while at the same time maintaining a sense of innocence and charm. Ingrid's journey is one of innocence and wonder as she strives to make sense of her world and her unique place in it. She is at once funny, cute, adorable, incorrigible, frustrating and always inquisitive. Hong Kong comes alive with this playful imp flying about its confines. Ingrid's family does its best and, for the most part succeeds, but you'll have to get on board to find out how golden is the life that awaits. It is a journey worth taking.'

'If you're only going to buy one book for your child, this is the one! Each night my daughter looks forward to reading it with me, and she always begs for more when I say it is time to sleep! I would recommend it to any parent who wants to give their child a book they will remember from their childhood.' A.E.

'My son couldn’t stop reading ‘The Golden Age’!!! Anywhere, everywhere read, read, read...he laughed a lot when reading 😊😊 And he said that he enjoyed your book so much! Especially he likes Dragon’s part as he likes dragons very much 😆 Thank you again for great book you made! You are AMAZING!' - from Dylan's Mother

The best book I have ever read!! ★★★★★

'I loved this book because it is funny, interesting, sometimes scary, and sometimes sad. My favourite characters in the book are: Rosa, Ingrid, Theo, Charlotte, and Sabrina. Rosa is funny because she is so sensible, even though she is Ingrid's plush toy!!  😆 I like that the author made Rosa alive, and Ingrid naughty, and most of the book funny. I can't wait to read all the other books Marianne Andersen is going to write!! Make sure to read every single bit of the book. Long books are great because you get to enjoy them for a LONG time!!' ~ G age 11 ~ ❤️ 

Wonderful epic novel, beautifully written! ★★★★★

'This is a rich and epic novel full of poetry, simple and profound musings on a life of a family, the seen and unseen world, and a healthy peppering of the fantasy realm. The story unfolds slowly revealing layer upon layer of hidden meanings, exotic language and has the ability to transport you to the life of Hong Kong emerging you in the sights, sounds, smells and soul of the city. There are so many hidden gems to discover for those who have the patience and curiosity to give this classic a go. Thoroughly enjoyed!' C.J.M.A.

The Golden Age, a golden string with many pearls ★★★★★

'The Golden Age is fascinating. There are numerous stories, each transporting you to a different setting. Small things, animals and plants come alive, creating a mesmerizing illusion as you read. This is a book for reading many times over, for children and parents alike.' V.S. Parani

 

Fantastic book! ★★★★★

'This is an introduction into the life of children. This fairy tale is extremely well written. It was such an enjoyable and exciting read. I'm recommending it to both adults and children.' J.A. Grugaard

Fairy Tale ★★★★★

'This fairy tale is a magical story that centers on an innocent 5 year old girl’s ever changing and complex world. The captivating story takes place in exotic Hong Kong in two worlds, both beautiful and ugly, imaginary and actual. Written lovingly and with great passion, the author has carefully crafted an emotional journey featuring fairies, trolls, elves, even Chinese Gods and Goddesses!! Written in a style that shows her deep love of nature, the author humbly lets us see these worlds and allows us to decide what to believe, as life is about free choices and of following your heart. I highly recommend this book to those people who love sensitive and touching stories about family, nature, and who value the pursuit of the truth & the meaning of life.' Shizue Japan

★★★★★

' 'The Golden Age' is beautifully written and about a little girl and her life in Hong Kong. It celebrates HK's festivals, traditions and myths along with the highlights of living in a diverse city. The chapters are long but be patient, persevere and be rewarded. The pace and the tone change as you get deeper into the book with an exciting and dramatic ending. It is a very clever book - it made me laugh, cry and squirm - it is a very enjoyable read.' Nova FT

 The Golden Age by Marianne Andersen ★★★★★

'Excellent Fairy Tales for Tai Hang Fire Dragon of Intangilble Cultural Heritage in Hong Kong S.A.R. indeed ! ! !' by Tai Hang Fire Dragon

A delightful fantastic fairy tale for all ages. ★★★★★

'Reading Marianne Andersen's book, the Golden Age is a magnificent way to revisit your childhood. She vividly creates a lovely world of childhood delights and traumas which will have you laughing and recalling the emotions, joys and delights of youth. Andersen is a fantastic writer who creates a world for you to inhabit. She spends time developing each character so that they are full and rich and you feel a love for them all. This is a fantastic book to read out loud to children as Andersen uses language to paint vibrant pictures that children will enjoy. She teaches about cultures and traditions in a way that will inspire conversations and learning with your children. I highly recommend this book to middle grade readers and families.' by betsey h.

'The Golden Age takes you on a magical journey with five year old Ingrid and her family; their adventures and misfortunes during the Year of the Water Dragon in Hong Kong. The layers of complexity in this story allow both children and adults to enjoy reading this. 
The author has meticulously researched her novel and her passion and respect for cultural traditions and nature in Hong Kong is so evident in her writing. 
I particularly love the intricacies of human relationships so candidly described, how fragile they can appear in the face of disaster, and the strength that arises from love. This is a wonderful fairytale about love and family. 
Congratulations Marianne Andersen on your first novel and I look forward to reading The Golden Week!' Cathy S

‘I have just finished reading The Golden Age and am so glad that I did! I must admit that I was initially a little daunted by the long length of the book, but it was definitely worth making time for. 

At first the book appeared to be a simple story of a sweet family living in Hong Kong, and felt like something of a 'love letter' to the city. But a few chapters in I began to realise that there was a lot more going on, as it became more fantastical with plenty of drama and surprises, as well as some very humorous parts. 

It is clear that the author has a deep appreciation of nature and a fondness for Hong Kong in all its diversity. I loved the overall positive message of the book. Although I have to say that going to the beach will never be the same again . . . 

Congratulations Marianne on your delightful novel. I am eager to read your second book now!’ By Victoria Laxton Kwok

‘The Golden Age is a unique and wonderful fairytale, suitable for both children, parents and anyone who was once a child! It is set in subtropical Hong Kong and paints a vivid image of one year in the life of a little family in the Fragrant Harbour. The story examines everyday life as well as festivals and cultural events both from the perspective of a five year old girl and her parents, and has that enchanting ability of really bringing the characters to life! As a kindergarten teacher I found the children's antics amusing, and as a mother I could relate well to the parental worries, trials and tribulations. The story is full of exciting and colourful magical creatures which in fact makes it into a work of magical realism and is spread out over twelve chapters, each one of them covering a month in the year of the dragon. 
The Golden Age is a long read, but beautifully written and researched. The reader will enjoy the interesting details surrounding the religious and cultural events, as well as the philosophical ponderings and pearls of wisdom the author shared throughout the story. I thoroughly enjoyed it!’ B.A.B.

 

' 'The Golden Age' is a fairytale infused with a combination of impeccably researched facts, and wonderful fantasy that delves the reader into the heart of Hong Kong, and into a magical, mystical side of this amazing City! A careful balance of poignant, and laugh-out-loud moments lend the reader the opportunity to experience a range of emotions while on this literary journey. The authors passion for Hong Kong & for fairytales is evident & infectious. An inspirational read for anyone aged 10-110!' - Julie Forte

 

'I read The Golden Age, and I found it funny and easy to read. I liked the characters, the setting in Hong Kong and the whole story. I liked the children in it, they were funny. The animals were enchanting. Overall, I think this book is great for children and I recommend it to everyone who is looking for good books to read.' Alyssa Age 9

 ' "The Golden Age" was a great read. It showcased everything a book should have, including likeable characters, great dialogue, and beautifully described settings. I loved the describing of all the shenanigans of naughty Ingrid, and Rosa was a great companion that I though suited the narrative well. I thought the whole "little girl's take on Hong Kong life" idea worked marvellously, even if it could get slightly wordy at times. All in all a great book and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Max Hayward - Age 13'

 

'Dear Marianne, I have finally got to chapter 3 in your book, I love it & can't believe what a beautifully written book you have produced. You are such a talented lady!! Well I can believe it really.' V.H.

 

'In your story, I feel (your) abundant love, kindness, and respect in life.. a little wild bird, the gifts passing to generation to generation and so on. Your writing is very careful, magical, elegant and pure.. so much to learn.. Your book, your writing is wonderfully noble, but the most, it is very very affectionate and warm." - Shizue

 

'I've been meaning to post this review for quite a while now. Great work, Marianne! The golden age by Marianne Andersen is not a typical fairy tale. The story starts innocently enough with amusing everyday antics of 5 year old Ingrid who lives in Hong Kong with her parents. As we follow a year in Ingrid's life, we are introduced to some interesting Hong Kong culture and traditions. You may miss at first why this novel is called a fairy tale but suddenly the magic of imagination starts spilling into the "real life" story. The story does take a dark turn towards the end but describes some real issues of the effects that illness can have on a family. Don’t worry though, there is a happy ending as fairy tales should have. Having said that, don't be fooled though in thinking that this fairy tale is only suitable for children! In fact, adults will also get a lot from this book. Furthermore, as a research scientist, I especially appreciated the final chapter that touches on the excitement of scientific discoveries. This book has all what you'd want: several chuckles, action (rats and sharks!), some emotional and tensed moments, as well as a few surprises.' A.M.J.

 

 

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