Lindsay (Little Reader Library)'s Reviews > Gold

Gold by Chris Cleave
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Mar 12, 12

Read from March 04 to 10, 2012

Zoe, Kate and Jack all emerge as talented young sprint cyclists, and go on to train and challenge at the highest level, with that ultimate aim, Olympic Gold. This story follows them as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympics, and throughout the novel we are taken back at intervals to learn what happened when they were young, to discover how they all first met, and what has happened at other key turning points in their lives, including Athens and Beijing, to bring them to where they are, and make them the people they are now.

I was very moved by this story and by the people involved; the author conveys the private pain that can become a driving force for winning and success, but can equally be a destructive element in life. Zoe and Kate are both huge rivals and best friends. There is a fierce determination in the hearts of these competitors, but there is also recognition that there are things in life so much more precious, above and beyond any competition. It’s a tense read at times, some heart-stopping moments both in and out of the velodrome. This is a poignant story, encompassing lives lived both at the peak of fitness and in seriously ill health, and it is beautifully written, full of humanity with all of its deep love and immense pain; I shed a few tears at the end, and felt I missed the characters; they, and the story, have stayed very much in my mind since finishing the book.

Reading groups would find much here to discuss, from the demands that professional athletes place their bodies under, the rigorous training, the media scrutiny they face, and the real lives they live away from the spotlight, as well as discussing thoughts on the London 2012 Olympics themselves as they fast approach.
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03/08/2012 page 75
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