Kate and Zoe are friends but also ardent rivals - athletes at the top of their game, fighting to compete in the world's greatest sporting contest. Each scarred by tragedy, and each with a great deal to lose, they must choose between family and glory and ask themselves: what will I sacrifice?GOLD captures the extraordinary effort and dedication that go into the pursuit of victory. But this life-affirming novel is about more than sport. It is about human endurance, motherhood and love, and what enables us all, in our different ways, to achieve the remarkable.
Sport is so packed with tension and surprise that when authors or scriptwriters use it as the basis for fictional drama I always end up thinking the real thing is preferable by far. Gold is the exception. Set in the world of elite track cycling Chris Cleave's novel follows the ambitions of three very different cyclists with Olympic dreams. He captures the intensity of the sport with aplomb and if you have doubts about whether romance could flourish with the ferocity it does here then, well, look at Laura Trott and Jason Kenny, Team GB gold medalists, who made the front pages with that kiss - Times Book ClubA thrilling and quite literally heart-pounding story... You'll never look at an Olympic champion in quite the same way again. - Richard Madeley, Richard And Judy Book Club Spring 2013Cleave is an acutely intelligent wordsmith. Some of the sentences cut so deep you want to scream out in pain and recognition . . . This is an inspirational and moving novel in so many ways, and everyone should read it. - The TimesThe wait has been worth it . . . As with all Cleave's work, GOLD probes the limit of what its protagonists will do to identify and protect what they really cherish. And that, in Cleave's confident hands, truly is exhilarating. - IndependentGOLD is a very good novel . . . strikingly well written . . . it has that rare gift of getting past the urban sneer to move and gratify, to stir us because it does, indeed, matter. It is bold and brave and, when you're on your way to the games this summer, and the person opposite you on the train is sobbing hot tears on to their Kindle, you'll have a pretty good idea what they're reading. - ObserverNovels about sport are notoriously hard to pull off . . . GOLD , Chris Cleave's third novel, is a skilful demonstration of the form . . . This is no niche book for aficionados looking for a brief summer distraction. Instead, cycling is the backdrop for a deeper exploration of the struggle between the physical and the psychological... GOLD works as a novel because Mr Cleave manages to make the reader care about what it takes to win - or even to take part . . . The small details speak loudly . . . . Cleave knows what makes a good story. Here, his concern is not with macho physicality or crossing a line, but with the endless and enduring human endeavours: love, death and what is left when hopes and dreams are crushed or fulfilled. A book to savour long after the Olympic games are over. - The Economist