Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gold; Chris Cleave


Title: Gold
Author:  Chris Cleave
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Edition:  eGalley and ARC
Source: NetGalley and Vine
Date Completed: July/2012
Rating: 4.5/5
Recommend: yes

Gold, was released this month and given it's subject matter, it is a timely novel as the world prepares for the 2012 summer Olympics in London.  The story takes place in Manchester, England  where long time friends and rivals Zoe and Kate, are competitive cyclists, along with Kate's husband Jack.  Kate and Jack have an eight year-old daughter named Sophie who is obsessed with Star Wars and is also battling Leukemia and undergoing treatments.

Zoe and Kate are very different. Zoe's had a troubled childhood, suffering the loss of her younger brother at an early age. She has a tough shell and anger issues; her whole identity and only goal in life is to be a winner.  She's won gold medals in the past, as had Jack, but Kate has not.  Baby Sophie arrived when the (3) were preparing for the Athens Olympics. All (3) are now at an age where this will most likely be their last chance of competing and of walking away with the Gold.

Gold, is a page-turning read with surprised in store for the reader.  It's also an emotionally charged read and although the ending seemed a bit contrived, the story moved me and it's definitely a book I'll be recommending.  Zoe was a character that I disliked early on, but once I got to learn her story, at least I was able to understand why she acted the way she did.  Kate, on the other hand, was a character I liked a lot, she was a young woman who put the needs of others before herself.  She's reserved and less confident that Zoe as well, but a very sympathetic character.  Zoe, was a loveable little girl. She always tried to hide the side effects of her treatments from her parents so they would not worry about her. For a young girl, she carried the weight of the world inside of her and acted much older than she was.  Her constant obsession and references to Star Wars did get tiring at times for me.  Tom, was the coach of both girls and another character I liked. He met the girls in 1999 when he was working for the Elite Prospects Program, and his caring and introspective nature won me over early on.  Jack, was Jack and some of his actions bothered me at times.

Chris Cleave fans who enjoyed Little Bee (the Other Hand in the UK) should enjoy his latest novel.  I hope you are as impressed as I was.

28 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to see you enjoyed this! I was hoping to read it during the Olympics.

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  2. I have Little Bee and hope to read it soon.

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  3. I didn't know Cleave had another book so I am going to put this on my iPad for my trip to London where I will see the Olympics!

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    1. WOW lucky you getting to be in London for the Olympics.

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  4. The author is new to me so making a note of both books.

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  5. Little Bee blew me away so this is one that I've been wanting to read since I learned of its release. Now with your high rating, I'm pretty sure I will enjoy it!!

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  6. Liked Little Bee a lot and the cover alone on this one would make me pick it up. Good to know the story measures up to his other work.

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  7. I've sort of been on the fence about this book but I think you might have tipped the scale.

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  8. I have this book, and though I am not terribly interested in the Olympics, I do think that the human story would be really riveting, so I am hoping to get to it soon. I am glad that you really liked this one. It sounds somewhat sad, but also uplifting as well. Great review today!

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  9. I have this one on my TBR pile. I have not read Little Bee, though many have told me that I should. I'm glad to hear that you liked this one so much.

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  10. I cannot stand contrived endings!

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  11. I really liked Little Bee so I'll probably get to this one too. He's so darn hard to review though because of his surprises! LOL

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  12. I'm glad this one was good. I liked, but didn't love Little Bee, so I've been curious about this one.

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  13. This book sounds very interesting. I'm not sure why but I really like the subject matter and the characters sound intriguing. But it's your review that really captured my attention with the comment about surprises in store for the reader.

    Thank you for a terrific review, Diane and a book for my tbr list!

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  14. When I added this book to my "to-read" list, I was so sure I had read Little Bee. Turns out I didn't, so now I need to add both to my reading list. Thanks for the review - now I'm dying to read it!

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  15. What a perfect time to read this book! I live near London and saw the Olympic torch last Friday. It's made me itch to read and experience more about the Olympics, so this has been added to my wishlist.

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  16. I have not read anything by this author and was not even clear what this book was about, so I am glad to have read your review. I can't wait to read it myself. Thank you for your review.

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  17. Thanks for the comprehensive review, Diane. I actually had no idea what this book was about even though I have seen it on goodreads. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

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  18. Seems like great planning on his part to have the book released at this time. Glad to hear it was good and not a "rush" job or something.

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  19. Despite my annoyance with the secrecy marketing ploy surrounding the plot of Little Bee, I really enjoyed the book. Glad to know you liked this one, too - will add it to my list.

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  20. Glad you enjoyed this one too. I agree about the Star Wars references - I'm not a fan of Star Wars either and I could have done with a few less mentions of it, but otherwise I thought it was an interesting story.

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  21. I had the chance to review this and I passed on it because I hadn't read any of his previous books... but now you have me wanting to pick up a Cleave book for sure. I think I'll start with Little Bee though, I have a habit of preferring to read an author's work chronologically.

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  22. I am looking forward to this book. I read an article about the author and this book, and it had me really wanting to read the book.

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  23. Delighted to see you enjoyed this one too. It is a bit of a marmite book with lots of mixed reviews but I loved it.

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  24. Glad to see you enjoyed this one. I was browsing on the library website a few days ago and it caught my eye!

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  25. I need to read Little Bee and this one!

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  26. Late comment. Just finished Gold. Cleave makes me feel his characters pain. I loved the story and his writing. So human. Little Bee was also a favorite. Have you read Incendiary?

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