Five words from the blurb: endurance, cry, succeed, struggles, sacrifice
I loved The Other Hand (Little Bee in the US) and so was keen to try Chris Cleave’s new book, Gold. I think Gold is the better book, but as there were so many similarities between the two I was slightly less impressed than I was with The Other Hand.
Gold follows Kate and Zoe, a pair of British cyclists, as they battle to take the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics. The two girls have very different personalities – Zoe is ruthless and selfish, not caring what she has to do in order to achieve her goal; whilst Kate is calmer and tries to balance cycling with her family life. This is difficult for Kate as her eight-year-old daughter has leukaemia. With the London Olympics fast approaching this book is very topical and will make you think about what those athletes are sacrificing to be top of their game.
I hate reading about sport so was worried this book might not be to my taste, but luckily the technical details were not really mentioned – it is all about the emotion created:
The book was fast paced and engaging throughout – it is almost impossible to put it down as the action increases relentlessly until its heartbreaking conclusion. The touching scenes with the ill child were some of the best in the book, but as a mother I found them difficult to read. Yes, this book is emotionally manipulative, but I loved it for that.
I know that many people were annoyed by the “we’re not going to tell you anything” blurb of The Other Hand. If you were one of those people then I suggest you stay well away from Gold – the blurb is equally vague and there is a similar “you’re going to love this book” letter from the editor. This Amazon review takes an amusing look at the negative aspects of this book and although I enjoyed the book I agree with most of the points made.
This is a quick, gripping and emotional read. If you enjoyed The Other Hand, this book will not disappoint.