Gold

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Gold

by Chris Cleave

Doubleday Canada | April 30, 2013 | Trade Paperback

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A heart-pounding novel about the extremes to which people will go for success, from the bestselling author of Little Bee.

In the tradition of his beloved previous novel, Little Bee, Chris Cleave again gives us an elegant, funny, passionate story about friendship, marriage, parenthood, tragedy, and redemption. This time, the setting is the London Olympics. Gold is the story of two women, Zoe and Kate, world-class cyclists who have been friends and rivals since their first day of elite training years ago. They have loved, fought, betrayed, forgiven, lost, consoled, triumphed, and grown up together. Now, on the eve of London 2012, their last Olympics, the two must compete for the one remaining spot on their team. In doing so, the women will be tested to their physical, mental and emotional limits. They will confront each other and their own mortality, and be asked to decide: What will you sacrifice for the people you love?

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: April 30, 2013

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385677170

ISBN - 13: 9780385677172

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

Gold

Gold

by Chris Cleave

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: April 30, 2013

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385677170

ISBN - 13: 9780385677172

From the Publisher

A heart-pounding novel about the extremes to which people will go for success, from the bestselling author of Little Bee.

In the tradition of his beloved previous novel, Little Bee, Chris Cleave again gives us an elegant, funny, passionate story about friendship, marriage, parenthood, tragedy, and redemption. This time, the setting is the London Olympics. Gold is the story of two women, Zoe and Kate, world-class cyclists who have been friends and rivals since their first day of elite training years ago. They have loved, fought, betrayed, forgiven, lost, consoled, triumphed, and grown up together. Now, on the eve of London 2012, their last Olympics, the two must compete for the one remaining spot on their team. In doing so, the women will be tested to their physical, mental and emotional limits. They will confront each other and their own mortality, and be asked to decide: What will you sacrifice for the people you love?

About the Author

CHRIS CLEAVE is a columnist for The Guardian newspaper in London. His first novel, Incendiary, was published in 20 countries, won the 2006 Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers'' Prize.
His second novel, Little Bee, was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Costa Award and the Commonwealth Writers'' Prize. In Canada, it was a national bestseller, and a reader and book-club favourite. Chris Cleave lives in London with his French wife and three mischeivous Anglo-French children.

Editorial Reviews

"Cleave again displays a remarkable aptitude for rendering female characters with startling realism, one of the strengths of his previous novels. . . . In these breathless portrayals of sport and spirit, Gold illuminates the stories of courage, loss, and commitment that are behind each of the seemingly invincible Olympians we root for every four years."
-Elle Magazine

"Friendship, rivalry, redemption, loyalty, health and basic goodness are all deftly explored in this novel. . . . [Cleave] is at his best when he describes the physical and emotional sacrifices and the pain that must be endured by those who pursue cycling, and likely any sport, at an elite level."
-Winnipeg Free Press

Bookclub Guide

1. The concept of chasing for the gold is a running theme throughout the book. Beyond the actual gold medals at the Olympics, in what ways do characters search for their 'gold'? In what ways do they achieve their 'gold'?

2. Zoe's competitiveness was one of the constants throughout the book. Why do you think she stopped and waited for Kate to finish the race properly? Is this an indication of a greater change in Zoe's character? What sort of change? Would Kate have done the same thing if the situation had been reversed?

3. The relationship between Jack and Zoe is complicated. Examine in what ways the book remains ambiguous about their true feelings towards each other. Could they still harbor some emotion for each other?

4. What about Tom's experience as a father? Why did his son react so violently to his father's coaching? Is he seeking redemption through his treatment of his athletes, Zoe in particular? Does he succeed in redeeming himself?

5. Although it is not a major focus for most of the novel, the reader is given hints as to what Jack, Kate, and Zoe's upbringings were like. What were their childhoods were like? Which character was probably happiest and why? Which character holds the most resentment? How is their upbringing reflected in their attitudes towards competition?

6. In the flashback to Kate's childhood, we see things go wrong between her mother and father. Why do you think this happened? What do you think about the way her mother was treating her? What about her father? Was he trying to protect her from something?

7. Kate and Zoe's complicated relationship creates the main focus of the book. Through flashbacks and the characters' musings, we explore their relationship. In what ways is their relationship tested? In what ways is it made stronger? Is their relationship believable? Why have they remained friends throughout the years? Is it because, in Zoe's case, she has no one else?

8. At the end of the novel, Sophie's health takes a turn for the worse and both Jack and the coach fellow decide not to tell Kate just before her race. Was this the best action for them to take? Was it in Kate's best interest? Was it in Sophie's?

9. Sophie finds escapism from her situation through Star Wars. Consider ways the other characters find their escapes. What are they trying to get away from? Is it healthy?

10. At the end of the novel, Zoe sees Sophie in a weakened state at the hospital and finally confronts the memory of her dead brother. What exactly about the situation with Zoe brings on the memory of her brother? Why does Zoe decide not to tell Sophie the truth about her real mother right then and there?

11. The theme of loss recurs throughout the book. Interestingly, the characters that experience loss are not always worse off for it. In what ways do characters experience loss? Do they suffer for the loss or do they gain something in exchange? What sort of things do they gain?

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