'Maya de Jong, an eighteen-year-old country girl from the West, comes to live in Melbourne and starts an affair with her boss, the enigmatic Maynard Flynn, whose wife is dying of cancer. When Maya's parents, Toni and Jacob, arrive to stay with her, they are told by her housemate that Maya has gone away and no one knows where she is.
'As Toni and Jacob wait and search for Maya in Melbourne, everything in their lives is brought into question. They recall the yearning and dreams, the betrayals and choices of their pasts - choices with unexpected and irrevocable consequences.
'With Maya's disappearance, the lives of all those close to her come into focus, to reveal the complexity of the ties that bind us to one another, to parents, children, siblings, friends and lovers.' (Publisher's blurb)
‘In human reckoning, Golden Ages are always already in the past. The Greek poet Hesiod, in Works and Days, posited Five Ages of Mankind: Golden, Silver, Bronze, Heroic and Iron (Ovid made do with four). Writing in the Romantic period, Thomas Love Peacock (author of such now almost forgotten novels as Nightmare Abbey, 1818) defined The Four Ages of Poetry (1820) in which their order was Iron, Gold, Silver and Bronze. To the Golden Age, in their archaic greatness, belonged Homer and Aeschylus. The Silver Age, following it, was less original, but nevertheless 'the age of civilised life'. The main issue of Peacock's thesis was the famous response that he elicited from his friend Shelley - Defence of Poetry (1821).’ (Publication abstract)
'The Good Parents (2008) is Joan London’s second novel. Her published works include two collections of short stories, Sister Ship (1986) awarded with the Age Book of the Year, and Letter to Constantine (1993), winner of the Steele Rudd Award and Western Australian Premier’s Book Award for Fiction. Her first novel, Gilgamesh (2001), also won the Age Book of the Year for Fiction in 2002. With these credentials, one expects to find in The Good Parents a fine novel, and London does not disappoint us.' (Introduction)