Home or Away (Hardcover)
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"A gloriously entertaining plunge into the ultra-competitive world of youth sports and the lengths we go to for the kids and game we love."--New York Times bestselling author KJ Dell'Antonia
Two friends, one Olympic dream, and the choice that stood in the way.
Once Leigh and Susy were close friends and teammates bound for Olympic hockey gold, but when Leigh’s sure-fire plan to make the final roster backfired, she left everything behind to start over, including the one person who knew her secret.
Two decades later, Leigh’s a successful investment banker, happily married, and the mom of a hockey prodigy, so when a career opportunity lands the family back in Minnesota, Leigh takes the shot for her kid. Back in the ultra-competitive world she left behind, the move puts her in Susy’s orbit, a daily reminder of how Leigh watched from the sidelines as her former teammate went on to Olympic glory.
Despite the coldness between them, Susy can’t help but hope that Leigh might lace up her skates and join her in the coaches’ box—after all Leigh knows better than anyone how hard it is to be a woman in this world. Susy knows soon her daughter, Georgie, will be seen as a “girl athlete,” relegated to the B team, with less support and opportunity to advance.
But Leigh believes keeping Susy at arms’ length is the only way to hide her history with her former coach Jeff Carlson. When he hints of new favors in exchange for her son’s ice time, Leigh is caught in the ultimate bind: come clean about what happened when she was an Olympic hopeful and risk her marriage or play Jeff’s game. In a moment of desperation, Leigh realizes the one person she thought was her biggest competitor—her former teammate—might turn out to be her biggest ally.
Told with Kathleen West’s trademark wit and compassion, Home or Away is a story about overcoming our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of female friendship.
About the Author
Kathleen West is a veteran school teacher. She graduated with a degree in English from Macalester College and holds a master's degree in literacy education from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis with her A+ human family and two B- dogs.
Praise for Home or Away
"A gloriously entertaining plunge into the ultra-competitive world of youth sports and the lengths we go to for the kids and game we love."—New York Times bestselling author KJ Dell'Antonia
“How much raw emotion can one writer put into a story? Kathleen West shows us in her luminous new novel Home or Away, set in the competitive world of youth hockey in Minnesota, known as the State of Hockey.”—St. Paul Pioneer Press
“West captures the kid hockey scene with blade-sharp precision."—Star Tribune
“This nuanced, heartfelt novel exploring abuses of power in sports will appeal to fans of Hannah Orenstein's Head over Heels (2020) and Alena Dillon's The Happiest Girl in the World (2021).”—Booklist (starred review)
“An excellent, deeply layered story that explores how ambition, hope, and dedication impact the choices people make, the secrets they hold close, and the lies they tell themselves and others. It's also about powerful women supporting each other, friendship, parenthood, marriage, attraction, sexual harassment, and the all-encompassing world of high-level youth—and Olympic—sports.”—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Are We There Yet?
“Filled with witty charm, humor and family secrets.”—Woman's World
"Fans of Liane Moriarty of Big Little Lies fame will love Are We There Yet?, a heartfelt and thought-provoking drama about the trials and tribulations of modern suburban motherhood."—Working Mother
"Kathleen West's latest novel, Are We There Yet?, tackles the struggles of parenting with unflinching honesty...Alice's picture-perfect life seems to disappear overnight, leaving her with no choice but to embrace the mess."—Pop Sugar
“Are We There Yet perfectly captures the friendships we form when our children are little, and the often painful ways they shift and change as our kids grow up and into their own identities. I fell head-first into this novel and I didn’t want to leave.”—New York Times bestselling author Julie Clark
“A sparkling, page-turning take on modern motherhood that reminds us, in the most entertaining way possible, that the illusion of control can be blinding. A family drama full of surprises and plenty of heart, Are We There Yet will give you all the feels. I loved it.”—Jamie Brenner
"With crisp prose, a compelling cast of characters, and a storyline that will immediately strike a chord with parents (as well as anyone who’s spent time around tweens and teens), Are We There Yet hits all the right notes. Kathleen West’s latest is at once a clear-eyed portrait of the challenges of our fast-paced, technology-obsessed society and a heartfelt and empathetic examination of motherhood. Highly recommended.”—Camille Pagán
“An astute and witty look at the ties that bind us and the events that can undo them. Are We There Yet is a nuanced take on contemporary parenting bursting with warmth and heart.”—Julia Whelan
"A timely, engaging story about modern parenthood and familial angst told with graceful insight, witty humor, and more than a few deliciously page-turning twists. Kathleen West has delivered a novel full of heart and soul."—Lisa Duffy
“Are We There Yet is a sharp-eyed but generous novel, filled with a vivid cast of characters. Despite their flaws, you can't help but root for them as they grapple with their competitive urges, family secrets, and some very lewd graffiti. I laughed out loud, and got real nervous about someday having tweens of my own.”—Laura Hankin, author of Happy and You Know It
“With a wide cast of perfectly drawn characters, Are We There Yet? is a sharp social commentary wrapped in an engrossing family drama. West brings her trademark wit to a romp through the savage hallways and phones of junior high students. Where are the (well-meaning but neurotic) adults, you ask? Behaving just as badly as their tweens. I could feel my hair graying with each new blunder—to anyone raising a teenager in the age of social media, I salute you.”—USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Wrobel
Praise for Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes
"A wry, engaging debut."--People magazine
"Just as good as Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies."--Kirkus (starred review)
"Fans of Where'd You Go Bernadette will flip for this clever, drama filled debut novel."--Woman's World
"A smart and delightful story of entitlement, friendship, and overparenting, with page-turning twists galore. West writes across lines of class and generation with grace and ease. A big-hearted debut."--Bruce Holsinger
"As intriguing as it is timely. West provides a funny and shocking glimpse into American parenting through the lens of an out-of-control stage mother who has lost all sense of boundaries."--Amy Poeppel
"A cutting and witty examination of modern parenting that excels in suburban relatability, West's debut novel will pique the curiosity of fans of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette."--Booklist
"Helicopter parenting and high school politics at their worst--and funniest. A smart, fast-paced, and deliciously entertaining debut!"--USA Today bestselling author Meg Donohue