A Spoke in the Wheel by Kathleen Jowitt is a lovely contemporary novel following the lives of a former cyclist.
Ben, our former cyclist who had to quit the sport due to a doping scandal, moves in with Vicky and Polly. All three love cycling to various degrees, and that’s what brings them together. We watch these characters grow and move through life as Ben finds his solace outside of the cycling world. Polly has been ill for a while and is in a wheelchair, and is working hard to try to find her place in the world now that her dreams have changed. Vicky also loves cycling and is in a club but is also a workaholic.
The biggest thing about this book was the diversity. I liked seeing members of the LGBT community and a woman in a wheelchair. These two topics weren’t shown as something mind blowing, it was just normal. This whole book felt like a coming of age and finding yourself story. It was quite lovely and simple to read. We just followed their lives.
If you like slice of life books, then this book is for you. It’s a wonderfully written story just following the lives of our main characters. We watch them grow, change and react to the world around them. It was the kind of “simple” read I needed – it didn’t have a complicated plot, it was easy to read and it wasn’t dramatic. It’s just lovely.
Overall, I’m impressed. Kathleen Jowitt has a great writing style and made Ben’s voice very readable.
Four out of five stars.
Thank you to Kathleen Jowitt who provided me a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.
A Spoke in the Wheel
The first thing I saw was the wheelchair.
The first thing she saw was the doper.
Ben Goddard is an embarrassment – as a cyclist, as an athlete, as a human being. And he knows it.
Now that he’s been exposed by a positive drugs test, his race wins and his work with disabled children mean nothing. He quits professional cycling in a hurry, sticks a pin in a map, and sets out to build a new life in a town where nobody knows who he is or what he’s done.
But when the first person he meets turns out to be a cycling fan, he finds out that it’s not going to be quite as easy as that.
Besides, Polly’s not just a cycling fan, she’s a former medical student with a chronic illness and strong opinions. Particularly when it comes to Ben Goddard…
Kathleen Jowitt was born in Winchester, UK, and grew up deep in the Welsh Marches and, subsequently, on the Isle of Wight. After completing her undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Exeter she moved to Guildford and found herself working for a major trade union. She now lives in Cambridge, works in London, and writes on the train.
Her first novel, Speak Its Name, was the first self-published book ever to be shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize.
Click the links below to visit Kathleen Jowitt:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kathleen-Jowitt/e/B01CDJN1HE/
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**Pictures provided by the author. I do not own these pictures.