Young Wiley O'Mara's tale comes to a close at last in Return of the Golden Age, the
final book in Marilyn Peake's The Fisherman's Son young readers trilogy.
Wiley and the six boys rescued from a millenia-old cataclysm have returned from
a magical journey to the bottom of the ocean that revealed to them the awful truth of the City of the Golden Sun: that the city's destruction severed a link of prosperity and peace with Wiley's home island, a place that has become dreary, depressed, nearly hopeless.
The dolphin Elden and Lucinda, the mysterious woman of the lake in the
island's forest, pledge their help as they charge the boys with a difficult
mission - convincing the early nineteenth-century island's inhabitants to reclaim their heritage as the descendants of a rich, powerful civilization. Wiley takes the boys to the orphanage opposite his village on the island to give them somewhere safe to stay, then sets about introducing a
mysterious cave that transports visitors to the island's golden age to the adults from his village most likely to consider such an outrageous
Return of the Golden Age brings the trilogy full-circle to a reckoning of Wiley's strained relationship with his barely-there alcoholic father, healing father and son after the death of Wiley's mother and allowing them to reclaim one another. "Drink deeply by land or sea. Earth comes only once," Wiley has been told over and over by those who have aided him in his journey, and that message of hope is the mantra that pulls the possibility of a new golden age from the depths of
a people's impoverished collective soul.