Building on the tradition of Little Bee, Chris Cleave again writes with elegance, humor, and passion about friendship, marriage, parenthood, tragedy, and redemption.
Gold is the story of Zoe and Kate, world-class athletes who have been friends and rivals since their first day of Elite training. They've loved, fought, betrayed, forgiven, consoled, gloried, and grown up together. Now, on the eve of London 2012, their last Olympics, both women will be tested to their physical and emotional limits. They must confront each other and their own mortality to decide, when lives are at stake: What would you sacrifice for the people you love, if it meant giving up the thing that was most important to you in the world?
Listen to Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
©2012 Chris Cleave (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
"Cleave goes for the gold and brings it home in his thrillingly written and emotionally rewarding novel about the world of professional cycling.... Cleave expertly cycles through the characters' tangled past and present, charting their ever-shifting dynamic as ultra-competitive Zoe and Kate are forced to decide whether winning means more to them than friendship.... Cleave likewise pulls out all the stops getting inside the hearts and minds of his engagingly complex characters. The race scenes have true visceral intensity, leaving the reader feeling breathless.... From start to finish, this is a truly Olympic-level literary achievement." (Publishers Weekly)
It was interesting to read this novel about 3 Olympic athletes (and their coach) during the 2012 summer Olympics, but it would be good and relevant any time. The overall theme of the book is "what matters most in life, your career ambitions (and money/fame) or the people in your life that you love?
To avoid spoilers -- wording it this way: A crucial decision made by the husband of one of the main characters, near the end of the novel, during an important race she was participating in.
The narrator did a good job of making the different characters actually sound different.
The one child in Gold has a fixation with Star Wars. I thought there was too much Star Wars discussion during the times the novel was told from the child's viewpoint.
My wife and I listened on a road trip. I didn't know how much she was enjoying till I offered to finish it and move on to another choice. Then we both agreed it was a good story, well told, and entertaining to the end. My wife and I don't often agree that much.
A good look at the price of a gold medal.
This story of an Olympic cycling rivalry between two women is more soap opera than a realistic athletic portrayal. The two women are friends and rivals over more than ten years. The husband of one (also an Olympic cyclist), the shared coach of the women, and the daughter of one (fighting leukemia) are the main characters. The novel bounces back and forth in time, and it wasn't until the story was halfway done that I was drawn in. While I felt a bit manipulated, I still enjoyed the second half of this novel. Listening to this English novel at the same time as the real Olympics were going on in London was pretty cool. Don't listen to this expecting to get a true glimpse of the lives of Olympic athletes. But if you want a soap opera-like story with a sports background, you might like this.
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