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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Book Review: Gold by Chris Cleave

Two years ago I read and loved Chris Cleave’s novel Little Bee. I loved it, thought it was brilliant and was definitely looking forward to Gold, which did not disappoint!

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Basic plotline: Gold is about the upcoming London Olympics and 3 British cyclists who are vying for a spot on the podium. But just as Little Bee wasn’t about immigration, Gold isn’t about the Olympics.

Chris Cleave throws readers his usual twists and turns, giving us Kate and Zoe, two driven athletes who are friends and competitors and Jack, Kate’s husband, and I can’t tell you any more otherwise it spoils the surprises, but all three are world-class cyclists.

You can practically feel the blood pumping in these woman’s legs as they fight for every finish—and fight through every part of their friendship as well. In some ways the novel is about humanizing the athletes we admire and cheer for in the Olympics and the messed up ways that they must be determined to win. Zoe is certainly the extreme example here. With no family ties and no friends aside from Kate, Zoe is the headstrong, angry, determined, single-focussed athlete, whereas Kate is a mother, a wife, and a gentle menace on the track. Jack is Jack. There’s never any doubt that he’s going to win, but even his heartbreaks show that life is about more than winning medals.

Gold is another outstanding novel by Chris Cleave.
Published by Bond Street Books, Doubleday Canada
See it on Amazon.ca

I loved Little Bee so I am excited to read this book based on your recommendation.

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