Colleen's Reviews > Gold

Gold by Chris Cleave
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's review
Jul 25, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

With the 2012 Summer Olympics due to start this month in London, this book offers an incredible glance into the world of competitive cycling. Kate and Zoe, both coached by Tom and both tied to fellow cyclist Jack, have been battling it out since age 19 when they were picked to be the future of British cycling. Through three Olympics, countless championships, and years of riding against each other they have somehow maintained a relationship both on and off the track. In the run-up to the London games, Kate and Zoe are battling for a spot on the podium while Kate and Jack are battling for the life of their daughter Sophie, fighting through her second bout of leukemia.

I don't want to spoil the plot (though as a reader, the big twist was no real surprise at all) but I have to say it was too complicated and unbelieveable. Tom seemed to serve no real function other than to generate sympathy for Zoe, a strangely unsympathetic character. Reading this, it is difficult to see how anyone could maintain a relationship with someone so mentally troubled.

That said, the writing was so good that I was swept along despite the mediocre plot and implausible relationships. Once I started reading, I wasn't able to put this book down even though part of me was rolling my eyes when reading. I was genuinely interested in the lives of these characters though the only one I felt an emotional connection to was poor Jedi Sophie, trying to battle her cancer with the Force.

A good read, but not a great one.

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