Gold by Chris Cleave
Hardcover, July 3, 2012; Simon and Schuster
Just finished reading Gold and appreciated the author's intent to show what could drive Olympic athletes to win, both their healthy and unhealthy reasons.
Zoe has unhealthy reasons to win at all costs. Kate has more compassion for other people and her drive comes from her love of the sport. Jack's involvement in cycling for gold came from a push by his father when he was a young man. The novel takes you from their young selves - Zoe and Kate as nineteen-year-old rivals in the sport and as rivals over Jack - to their developing friendship and final time to fight for Olympic gold at age thirty-two.
I was disappointed in the twist in the plot half way into the book. I felt it was too contrived - it tied these three cyclists into a tighter knot than I was comfortable with. But it did make it easy for the book to achieve a neat ending.