Book Review: Gold by Chris Cleave

“Caring for sick children is the Olympics of parenting”  – Excerpt from Gold by Chris Cleave

I had heard a lot about Chris’s earlier novels Little Bee and Incendiary. When I saw this novel available for pre-order, I was not able to stop my self and booked it immediately.

Gold is the story of cyclists – Zoe and Kate, two dramatically distinct personalities who have been competing against each other over the last 13 years. Zoe is obsessed about winning and can go to any extent for victory. She is so consumed by her hunger for winning that there is little else left in her life. Kate, on the other hand is competitive and loves winning, but winning is not everything for her. For her, family comes first. The story is about how their lives get tangled with each other, both on track and off track.

This one is a beautifully structured book. The story moves back and forth in time to reveal the back stories of various characters, each time adding a new layer to the story. I like non-liner story telling, where right information is revealed at the right time, and in the end everything fits together like a parts of a delicate machine.

The story is well paced and is told from multiple point of views.  Portions where Kate’s daughter Sophie tries to hide her pain and suffering post chemotherapy from her parents is particularly heart wrenching. Parts related to the race as well as those related to the training are exhilarating.

All the characters are well written and very real. The best thing is that author does not take a moral stand in favor of any character. He just provides you all details about them and leaves it to you to love or hate them.

In short, its an engaging an interesting read. Perfect warm-up for the Olympics!

PS: Looking forward to reading Incendiary and Little Bee

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