Self-proclaimed bibliophile, culture nut and nerdfighter. English lit. and linguistics geek. Future career in publishing.
Note: The review below was taken directly from my Goodreads account.
Gold is about two women cyclists who are training for the 2012 Olympics and who also happen to be best friends. One, Kate, has a daughter with leukemia; the other, Zoe, has intense hang-ups.
Cleave's writing has really improved and it's noticeable. His prose has better flow and he can alternate points of view without rupturing that flow. I do think he hasn't mastered character voice, as many of the characters sounded the same (except for Tom and Sophie). Overall, Cleave has vastly improved over Incendiary, and even Little Bee. I did find the pacing to be a bit slow, though -- the book builds up to the two women racing each other for a spot at the Olympics instead of the actual Games.
As for the characters, I liked them all, but they were not overly descriptive. I think the coach, Tom, was the most fleshed out; whereas, with Zoe and Kate I'm confident I can describe them in one word. It's true that they get more dynamic as the story goes along, but I just don't think their characterization was as nuanced as it could have been.
I liked the ending, which I didn't think was overly sentimental compared to Cleave's first two books. I also really liked the glimpses into the pasts of characters, Tom and Kate especially.