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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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The storyline was far-fetched and the medical and legal aspects poorly researched making it difficult to suspend disbelief and engage with the story. I don't know anything about Olympic cycling so I can't comment about that, but I suspect that it is equally off the mark there. The characters are shallow caricatures.
Although the narrator did a satisfactory job, her Australian accent was poor. Overall a disappointing read.
What a book..... Been a while since i have come across a book this beautifully written.
While Chris painted a beautiful picture with his words, Emilia filled emotions through her voice. You can sense various emotions being triggered during the whole journey. You can see things like it were happening under your nose. This is a great feeling.
I don't see why someone hasn't made a film out of it yet.... ;-)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I was intrigued by the refusal of the "blurb" to tell me what the book was about. I am so glad I didn't know as it would have been one of the last books I would have chosen. I'm really loathe to say "what it was about" in case it has the same effect. The first few minutes were about people who will be taking part in an event in London 2012. (My heart sank!) The next were set on the Death Star from Star Wars. (Confused? I was.)
Neither of these passages were what the book was about.
I am so glad I didn't delete the book before I read any further - it was beautiful, touching, sad and heart-warming.
I think I'll listen to again soon. Perhaps in July as I won't be watching the televison.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful