Excerpt from Gold by Chris Cleave, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Gold by Chris Cleave
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2012, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2013, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Guidarini

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“Oh, get fucked,” said Zoe, smiling. “I wouldn’t swap for your life.”

A cold squall rippled the yellow-brown puddles of the film-studio car park. On the far side, in a blue SUV splashed with mud, the next group of ticket holders for the Star Wars Experience was already looking for a parking space. Kate checked her watch. The Death Star was theirs for another twenty minutes.

“We’d better get back in to Sophie,” she said.

The two women rushed their teas. Zoe looked at Kate over the rim of her cup.

“Be honest with me,” she said. “Is Sophie dying?”

“No,” Kate said, without hesitation. “The chemo’s going to work. I’m one hundred percent sure she’s going to get better.”

“Honestly?”

“We’ve proved it before. When she first got sick, the chemo worked and she went into remission. This is just a little relapse, and now the chemo will work again.”

There must have been doubt in Zoe’s face because Kate began pursing her lips and nodding her head determinedly. Zoe watched the certainty building, going up the dial and into the red. One hundred and five percent. One hundred and ten.

“Okay,” she said. “Okay. But do you really think these day trips help? They don’t just exhaust her?”

Kate smiled. “Let me worry about that.”

“Let me ask, at least. As your friend.”

Kate’s smile stiffened. “Would I put her through all this if it wasn’t helping?”

Zoe touched her arm. “Of course not. But are you sure you don’t organize these trips slightly for your own peace of mind? Just so you can be doing everything in your power as a mother, I mean.”

“What, and you’re an expert on motherhood now?”

Zoe recoiled as though she’d been slapped. Slowly, she collected herself and looked down, twisting her hands together.

Kate faltered, then stepped forward and took her hand. “Shit, Zo, I’m sorry.”

Zoe turned her head aside. “No, no, you’re right. I was out of order. I know what you go through.”

Kate moved to put herself back in Zoe’s eye line, then held her gaze. “I know what you go through too. This must make you think about Adam.”

“It’s fine,” said Zoe. “And you know what else? Your hair’s all fucked up.”

Kate laughed. “Oh, have I got helmet hair?”

“You think that’s bad? I’ve got Stormtrooper’s tits. I swear to God, these costumes are so tight…”

Under the relief, Zoe’s heart was still snagged on the wire of the fence her friend had put up between them. She wished she hadn’t brought up the subject. She needed to learn when to keep her mouth shut, which was nearly always.

She looked down into her Styrofoam cup, where an inch of tea—the same yellow-brown as the puddles—was reaching the temperature at which the warmth no longer disguised the bitterness. You could get tired of being unattached, of having no partner to undertake patiently the task of winnowing your days from your demons and showing you which was which. You could get to hoping for a companion of your own—and yes, even a child—despite the overwhelming evidence that children too were bottomless, echoing wells of need into which exhausted women like this one, her best friend Kate endlessly dropped brave little pebbles of certainty and anxiously listened for a splash that never came.

“We really should get back to the Death Star,” Kate said, pulling Zoe back from miles away.

“Hmm?”

Kate pulled her Stormtrooper helmet back on, and her voice was changed to a metallic rasp by the modulator built into the face guard. “The Death Star? Big round naughty spaceship? Promising acting debut, got a bit typecast, never appeared in another film after the Star Wars series?”

Excerpted from Gold by Chris Cleave. Copyright © 2012 by Chris Cleave. Excerpted by permission of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Track Racing and the Velodrome

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Pachinko
    Pachinko
    by Min Jin Lee
    Pachinko has one of the best opening lines I've encountered in some time: "History has failed us, ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Summer Before the War
    by Helen Simonson
    Set on the cusp of World War I, The Summer Before the War exudes strength and spirit as a small town...
  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    A Piece of the World
    by Christina Baker Kline

    A stunning novel of friendship, passion, and art from the #1 bestselling author of Orphan Train.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport

    A masterful retelling of the Russian Revolution from the author of The Romanov Sisters.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people... but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.