This novel is as close as I’m getting to anything related to the Olympics. It’s about Kate and Zoe who are best friends and competitors. They are two of the best Olympic-caliber cyclists in the world and 2012 is their last shot at it. (They’re getting older and this is basically the last time they will be at their physical best.) This is complicated by several factors, one of which is that Kate’s daughter Sophie has leukemia and is getting worse.
This is such an interesting book. I’m not a sports person at all, although I love sports movies. I enjoyed this one too, probably because (like sports movies and unlike actual sports) it’s about more than just the Olympics and bicycling. There are all these questions about competition and ethical dilemmas, all of which I find completely fascinating.
Chris Cleave’s biggest book to date is Little Bee (which I borrowed from my aunt and have yet to read) and after reading this, I definitely want to read more of his work.
I’ve read some complaints that the narrative is pretty blatant (as in, “Of COURSE the daughter will get worse before the Olympics…”) and while that is a pretty fair complaint, it’s not like Gold is a Lifetime movie. It’s not like “I’d Kill to Win: The Kate and Zoe Story.”
I think my favorite character was probably Sophie (Kate’s daughter). She’s this little girl who’s facing something people shouldn’t have to face, but she’s so smart and strong and funny. She’s also completely Star Wars-obsessed, which I think a lot of people can relate to. While the Star Wars movies aren’t my personal favorite, I can absolutely relate because I, too, believe in the church of movies. They make things better, even if they can’t really.