Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Gold: A Novel

One coach, two determined women track cyclists, one man, one child, and the Olympics.  This isn't the typical triangle of fiction - it's a pentagon.  Although the story focuses on the two women cyclists, the other points of the pentagon are critical to the plot.  Gold is about dedication, love, loyalty, betrayal, and the big questions about what's important in life, in the run-up to the London Olympics.

Zoe and Kate have been competing against each other since they were nineteen.  Kate trains hard to be the fastest rider, but Zoe's need to win is greater and motivates her to psycho Kate out at every opportunity.  And Kate falls for it every time.

Despite these nasty tricks, Kate remains Zoe's loyal friend, supporting and consoling her even when Zoe has betrayed her.  Zoe's manoeuvring leads to Kate making the ultimate athlete's sacrifice at the Beijing Olympics.  

The competition extends off the track where Kate and Zoe vie for the same handsome cyclist, Jack.  Kate and Jack get married but not before some shenanigans by Zoe.   Both Kate and Jack train intensively for the London Olympics while struggling with the demanding care of their daughter Sophie who has leukemia.   

The two women share the same coach, Tom, an almost-crippled, lonely, disappointed former cyclist.  Tom has dedicated himself to coaching the girls since that first day they met at nineteen. Ostensibly unbiassed, he can't help having his own personal favourite. 

And then there's the fifth point of the pentagon - the Olympics.  A rule change means that Britain can only send one track cyclist to the London Olympics.  Who will it be?  The generous and sympathetic Kate with a full life and family to focus on, or the driven Zoe whose whole life is about sport?  

No comments: