Boy oh boy, this book is timely & terrific! British writer, Chris Cleave’s book Gold  is set in London, in the cycling  world, with the 2012 Olympic games being the goal of the competitors, and he’s done a gold medal job! It’s brilliant! Sitting in front of the TV watching the events while reading this book is about as “Olimpified” as you can get. Gold is the story of Kate & Zoe, two young cyclists who are not only friends but rivals in the cycling world, competing in events together, and trying to land the single spot to represent Britain in the 2012 Olympics. Cleave does such a great job of getting into the cyclist’s head that I actually began to wonder if he’s a cyclist himself. Zoe & Kate are as different as day and night, and their lives veer off in opposite directions as soon as they dismount from their bikes. Kate’s life revolves around training sessions, winning medals, hubby Jack and dealing with daughter Sophie who is seriously ill with leukemia. Zoe’s life revolves around… nothing but training and winning (she is one seriously messed up young woman). But they share a common bond (which I won’t tell you about because I’m not a spoiler). It’s a fantastic story, really well written, and I think it’s smashing that any writer can pull off a book like this – so into the cyclist’s psyche and so appropriately timed to be the perfect add-on to watching the Olympics, especially the cycling. In the Author’s Note at the end of the book Cleve tells the readers that he shadowed a consultant hematologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. And he says “Parents and staff alike seemed to step up into a state of focused grace in which all worldly concerns were cast off until all that remained was love. As a researcher, it was like being embedded with angels.” How beautiful is that.  And the connection between the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in the opening ceremony (you poor folks who watched the taped version at night missed this part entirely) and Cleave’s connection with this hospital… what a coincidence! Get this book NOW and read it while you’re still full of Olympic fever. You won’t be disappointed.

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