Tag: London Olympic

Gold by Chris Cleave

Posted August 8, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literary Fiction / 0 Comments

Gold by Chris CleaveTitle: Gold (Goodreads)
Author: Chris Cleave
Published: Simon & Schuster, 2012
Pages: 324
Genres: Literary Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Zoe and Kate are world-class athletes; they have been rivals on the track from the very start but they are also friends. Gold follows the story of these two cyclists’ lives leading up the 2012 London Olympics. Both women will be tested on and off the track, being pushed to their physical and emotional limits. The book follows the two through most of their professional career, starting at 19 all the way up to training for their final Olympic event.

This is a strong character driven book, Kate is the nice one, she is a mother first and an athlete second who is always Zoe’s heels. Zoe on the other hand is driven purely by the need to win and will stop at nothing to gain the advantage. Even the support characters are wonderful; from the bitter coach Tom, to Kate’s husband Jack who also is an Olympic cyclist and can be very cocky about his constant lack of competition. Not forgetting Jake and Kate’s daughter Sophie, who while suffering from leukaemia is constantly trying to remain strong to stop her parents worrying about her so much.

Chris Cleave writes a wonderful book, this is a story full of passion, humour and tragedy. I was excited to read this book, I’ve been eyeing it for a few weeks and when my local book club decided to read it, I finally had an excuse. I really love exploring the characters; Zoe was a real stand out for me, her flaws made her a character I wanted to read more about. To offset the dense nature of this book, Cleave did a wonderful job at lightening the mood, from Sophie’s obsession with Star Wars to the humour with lines like; “The boys sat around and talked about Keats and fine bone China, or whatever they talk about before they are about to spend 8 hours racing each other”.

Gold is a deep bittersweet story that is full of empathy, sharp observations and strong characters.  Chris Cleave did a great job of balancing the novel out so it never felt heavy or too light. I think I even surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this book; it was such a joy to read. I’ve even heard that Chris Cleave’s other books are worth checking out and if Gold is anything to go by, then I’m excited to read more.