Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gold by Chris Cleave

In a rare jump into adult novels, I wanted to chat about this terrific little book I read recently. Chris Cleave is the author of Little Bee-- I am sure many of you have read this one before. I had not, but I had heard very good things about that and kept running into great reviews of Gold. The story line sounded just like I like 'em: a little Olympics, a little tension between friends, a little life and death edginess. And I was not disappointed.

Basically Zoe and Kate are track cyclists of Olympic medalist level. They are wicked good on the track, share the same coach, and have trained together for years and years. They share a bunch of things in addition to Tom-- a boyfriend, a daughter, a love of biking-- but it is only at the end, after years and years of Zoe kicking Kate's butt (barely matters a lot in track riding) or Kate choosing motherhood over winning that there is some resolution of how to live life without the rest of life getting in the way.

I loved Cleave's artful storytelling. Some books lift up the drama too much, but not Cleave. He holds a restraint in his writing that I really appreciated. The text was simple and complex at the same time, and I didn't want to put this book down. While fierce in the competitive levels framed and the dedication to one another, no matter some of the great challenges framed within, it still read as a quiet book for me. I am sure I am confusing you, but I could so see this happening in a sport. So see it.

I wonder what others thought of this....and Little Bee? Readers, advice?


  1. I can't tell you what it's about. From the dust jacket:

    We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't. And it's what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds."

  2. Nice response...guess I am gonna have to track down the book and read it!! Thanks for the respectful hint.