Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Sacrifice. Readers who are suffering withdrawal now that the London Olympic Games have concluded can reengage with Chris Cleave’s novel, Gold. Cleave presents five characters whose lives revolve around track cycling. Zoe and Kate have been competing against each other for years, and while their skills are comparable, their personalities are a study in contrast. Zoe is cold and Kate is warm. They are both coached by Tom, who faces conflict in how he brings out the best in each racer. Kate’s husband, Jack, is also a world class cyclist, and he and Kate juggle their time to care for Sophie, an eight year old who suffers from leukemia. This novel is a study in sacrifice, and Cleave tugs at every emotional thread he can to influence the feelings of readers. Like some Olympic events, I watched, this novel hit some marks and missed others. Despite ample backstory fill-ins, none of the characters were as fully developed as I would have liked. As a judge, I would have rated this novel off the podium. Readers who prefer emotional intensity in a novel are those most likely to enjoy this one. Rating: Three-star (Recommended) Click here to purchase Gold from amazon.com.

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