The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou. From the back cover: “Digger, an 85-kilo wrestler, and Sadie, a 26-year-old speed swimmer, stand on the verge of realizing every athlete’s dream–winning a gold medal at the Olympics. Both athletes are nearing the end of their careers, and are forced to confront the question: what happens to athletes when their bodies are too worn to compete? The blossoming relationship between Digger and Sadie is tested in the intense months leading up to the Olympics, which, as both of them are painfully aware, will be the realization or the end of a life’s dream.”
If you aren’t the superstar athlete I am, you might be reluctant to read a sports-themed novel, but fear not, my friends, because The Bone Cage is much more than jock talk. The characters are complex and realistic, the plot is absorbing, the setting is perfectly drawn, and the writing is clean and clear and a pleasure to read.
What elevates The Bone Cage above the level of ‘merely entertaining,’ however, are The Big Questions it raises: After years of pushing everything else (family, friends, education, occupation) aside to train, what does an elite athlete actually have once the athletic career is over? Are all those years of training and sacrifice worth the reward? What if there is no reward? What is it that drives athletes to devote everything to competition? Is this drive to be respected or pitied? Who are any of us without our careers, our talents, our obsessions?
The Bone Cage: Highly recommended.