Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: Gold by Chris Cleave

Publisher: Doubelday Canada
Pages: 336
Received: Received from Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 5, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

Building on the tradition of Little Bee, Chris Cleave again writes with elegance, humor, and passion about friendship, marriage, parenthood, tragedy, and redemption. 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?

My Review:

I admit it, I have not read a Chris Cleave book before now... I am ashamed to say it. I'm glad I have now read one of his novels, just as it says in the description his story is filled with "elegance and humour.." I knew from the description that I was walking into a book full of hard times, I just didn't know how much this book would actually get to my emotions (let me say A LOT, I mean crying on the train while commuting to work).

This book is told in a sequential narrative, moving from each character's point of view. There are many different characters, but they all connect with one another in some way. When all the characters have as close a connection as these do, it makes it easier to follow through the different jumps in the narrative.  My favourite narrative voice had to be that of Sophie, the 8 year old. She is a Star Wars obsessed kid, and her parts were always so much fun. Cleave gets some awesome points for all the Star Wars references throughout.

I had a lot of fun reading this book. I felt like it was a puzzle that I slowly had to put together as I was reading. Each character would remember things from their past about how everyone met, and different things that really affected their future in ways. You really get to understand each character in their own way by seeing what got them to where they are now. I was really surprised as the book kept going on, where Cleave took these characters and what things they all actually went through with one another. Once everything was put together I was really shocked with the turn of the story, and it really hit my emotional side more.

What really made this book, one that is going on the re-read shelf is really the message that Cleave with you long after you've finished the book. This story is really about striving for your dreams even when you've been kicked down, work for what you believe in. To me Kate was an inspirational character, I can't really explain why without giving away spoilers, you will just have to read it to find out ;)

If you haven't read any of Cleave's books before, I suggest you get on that. I plan to check out his other books ASAP!

1 comment:

  1. I've been on the fence about reading this one. I've heard a lot of great things about it but I wasn't sure if it was really going to be the kind of book that I would like. After your review though I think I'm definitely going to give it a try! Also love the fact that there is a star wars obsessed character in the book :) I love anything that mentions star wars in it haha!



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