Wednesday, January 27, 2016
This story takes a friendship and places it in a unique context. I didn't know too much about competitive cycling, and I have to confess I haven't given much thought to the intense training that goes into becoming an Olympic athlete. While I will never walk into a stadium to the cheers of thousands, I think all parents can relate to the constant tightrope walk between the needs of our children and our own needs.
Like many books, this one oscillates between the past and the present. Cleave is expert at giving you tiny snippets of the past that illuminate the current storyline in really interesting ways. It's impossible not to care for Kate, her husband Nick and daughter Sophie, Zoe, and even their coach. If you have read a book by Cleave before, you know that he is a fan of the surprising twist. That certainly happens here, but the thing that really kept me turning pages was the fact that I didn't know how the story would end...and I wasn't sure which woman I wanted to win the gold. This book is not just for cycling or Olympics fans; it's a story for anyone who enjoys nuanced, fascinating characters and a compelling story.
By Chris Cleave
Simon and Schuster July 2012
From my shelves