Sunday, July 8, 2012

Book Review: Chris Cleave's Gold


Do you love Little Bee?  Literary fiction? Watching the Olympics?  Then boy, oh, boy--have I got a book for you! Chris Cleave returns to the bookworld with another fantastic novel. 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?


I thought the writing in Gold is his best so far--I've got so many dog-eared pages and I shared so many passages out loud with my husband and my extended family that my ARC is starting to look a little ragged.  I had the chance to meet Chris Cleave at dinner at Winter Institute in New Orleans, back in January of this year.  He is one of the sweetest and most delightful writers I've ever met.  And he also happens to write children better than just about any author I can think of--his character Sophie, a little girl battling with leukemia, will absolutely break your heart in this book!

Here are some of the passages I marked:

On watching her competitor on television: "Kate hated the way her body still readied itself to race like this, the way a widow's exhausted heart must still leap at a photo of her dead lover."

On a sick child's trying to read the mood of her mother in a Star Wars costume: "This was the thing with Stormtroopers: they only showed the multipurpose expression molded into the face plates of their helmets--a hard-wearing, wipe-clean semimournful expression equally appropriate for learning that one's souffle, or one's empire, had fallen."

On describing a falling out between friends: "In the weeks that followed, Zoe had been incandescent with remorse. That was how it had seemed to Kate--that her friend had actually flickered with a pale and anxious light that sought to expel the shadows cast by her behavior."

On the nature of time in a modern world: "Time had been restructured like bad debt. The long languid hour had been atomized. Manifestos were shrunk to memes and speeches were pressed into sound bites [sic]..."

If you would like to meet Chris Cleave in person, please come to the Odyssey on Tuesday night, 10 July, at 7:00 pm for a reading from Gold, followed by a booksigning.  For full details, please click here.

~Emily

1 comment:

Beatnik Mary said...

I loved this book! I wasn’t so sure if I liked his previous book, Little Bee, but this one was a real winner for me (oh, groan, pardon the pun).
I hope you don’t mind me doing this, but I’m hosting a giveaway for this book in August 2012 on my blog, http://www.CozyLittleBookJournal.com. Maybe your readers would be interested?