Review: A Spoke in the Wheel by Kathleen Jowitt

IMG-3956.JPGI was approached by this author to provide an honest review in return for a free copy of the book.

Blurb: 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 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…

Title: A Spoke in the Wheel

Author: Kathleen Jowitt

Publisher: Self-published

Genre: Contemporary


This book follows the personal journey of Ben Goddard, ex-professional cyclist, and his attempts to rebuild his life after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He moves to a town in the middle of nowhere, taking regular day jobs and hoping to just move past everything that happened. He doesn’t expect for the first people he meets to be cycling fans, or for them to extend the hand of friendship.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. They were written in a way that felt believable and didn’t make me cringe with the ways that they discussed topical issues and engaged with each other concerning disability or sexuality. It didn’t feel fake to me, as if the author was putting it in there just to make a point about their own views which I appreciated.

As for what I disliked, at times I felt that the plot moved quite slowly. I understand the angle that the author wanted to showcase Ben’s life as ordinary, a far cry from a life of intense athletic training, but at points, I felt as though we lacked a bit of push for the plot. Another thing that confused me a little bit were the references to professional cycling as I’m someone who isn’t really a big watcher and didn’t even take very quickly to riding a bike myself so a few things were lost on me.

Overall, I’d recommend this book to people who enjoy diversity with their reading as well as opinionated characters! Also, you’d most likely enjoy this book if you’re a professional cycling fan too!

Rating: 3/5

Recommend?: Yes

Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you read any other books by this author? I’d love to know!

You can always find me over on Instagram and Twitter if you’d like to discuss this book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌

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3 thoughts on “Review: A Spoke in the Wheel by Kathleen Jowitt

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