Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Review: Gold- Tying in with the Olympics

By Chris Cleave

Gold, Chris Cleave's new novel ties in  with the Olympics in England this year.  The story is about three English athletes, Kate, Zoey, and Jack are cyclists training for the Olympics.

Gold, is not. just about the Olympics. This is a wonderful story of endurance, friendship, and commitment, competitiveness of the game, training, love and family. Only part of the story is the olympics.

In Manchester, England the Olympics are coming up. Tom is the couch, for cycling. He is training, Zoey, and Kate for 2012 Olympics.

Zoey, has some personal demons she can't forget.  A tragedy happened when she was young.   She doesn't have time to think about her past. Until after the last competition. When her past is pushed in front of her mind to recon with.

Kate, forfeited the Olympics at Athens, and then Beijing, and now is competing again at the age of 32. She witnessed her husband's win. Cycling at the Olympics in Athens.  He won the gold, at the podium. On live TV he proposed marriage to Kate.

Kate, and Zoey, are on the Women's Cycling Team. They have to compete against each other. Through it all, Kate and Zoey still manage to have a friendship, and also a friendly rivalry. They have a secret that is kept until someone's dream is shattered at the last race. The secret may be leaked.

At the Beijing Olympics, Kate and Jack were competing respectively for the men, and women cycling events. But, their daughter became sick, and diagnosed with Leukemia. At Beijing, at decision had to be made, who would go home, and take care of their daughter. While the other one stayed to compete? That is a hard decision to make. For us mothers that live normal lives we would know, of course we would take care of our children. But, when you are talking about athletes, that is a entirely different story. 

 When  Kate becomes a mother she has to decide on her priorities. Her daughter has leukemia. Kate forfeits her entry into the Olympic games for her daughter.

At first reading the novel, Gold. I was getting very irritated, and could not keep track of the time and places, and people. The switching back and forth, from Athens, to Bejing, and then to England. I was ready to give it up, I am glad I had the patience, because soon I connected with the characters, and loved them. I am still thinking about them. I do miss them.   I am glad I stuck it out because it was well worth it.

There were some terms, that I did not understand. Parts of the bike, cycling terms, and Olympic terminology. But, that did not stop me from loving the story.

Chris Cleave, understood what the athletes were going through. For a man to understand a female athlete's perspective as a parent, and mother he truly seemed to understand his women characters.

 Women athletes, that have been training for years. Even if they have family, there is still the question of priorities.  you would think obviously, my children first.  But, not for someone that has had the dream almost her entire life of competing and racing. Can you just give it up? Care for your child? or go for the Gold? Would you give up your dream for the sake of your child, of any goal? Going back to school? A good job in another country? If your child was sick.

I think a good discussion and starting point for a book discussion.

              Good Luck To The American Athletes

1 comment:

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

How interesting, i had no idea this book was about the olympics! thanks!