Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Review: Home or Away by Kathleen West

Home or Away
by Kathleen West

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  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's coaching decisions are undermined by the all-male board and she 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's sure keeping Susy at arms' length is the only way to hide her history with her coach Jeff Carlson. When he hints of new favors in exchange for her son's ice time and allegations arise over his conduct, 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 turns to Susy and realizes the one person she thought was her biggest competitor might turn out to be her biggest ally.

Kritters Thoughts:  A mom is returning to her Minnesota hometown with her husband and son in tow, so that her son can enter a more competitive hockey "market" with players who have been playing longer than they could walk!  Leigh, the mom, sort of ran away after she tried to get on the Olympic team and didn't make it and there are secrets that are still hidden that she she returns may come to light.  

I love a book where a character or two are returning home and when they do, they will have to confront some things from the past.  And while I am not a hockey connoisseur, I loved how this author put us in this specific sports world and made it interesting to someone who doesn't know much!  

I am trying not to spoil the big secret and its reveal, but gosh darn did it make me think of some news stories that made a lot of athletes and their parents stop, watch and ask questions.

I have read two out of three Kathleen West's books and I want to catch up on the one I haven't read and I will be looking out for what comes next.    

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 25 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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