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Home or Away

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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, hap 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. 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.


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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, hap 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. 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.

50 review for Home or Away

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    I’m not a big hockey fan but after reading this book, I found myself getting new tickets to see more LA Kings games! Kathleen West is definitely aspiring, unique author! I read her previous works and I had to admit I loved this book a little more! Normally I always have hesitations when I start to a slow burn mystery. For getting into this kind of story, I have to get invested into characters and mystery part should be intriguing enough to make my precious arse keep glued to my seat and occupy I’m not a big hockey fan but after reading this book, I found myself getting new tickets to see more LA Kings games! Kathleen West is definitely aspiring, unique author! I read her previous works and I had to admit I loved this book a little more! Normally I always have hesitations when I start to a slow burn mystery. For getting into this kind of story, I have to get invested into characters and mystery part should be intriguing enough to make my precious arse keep glued to my seat and occupy my mind! This book achieved those two goals: I enjoyed the character building: both Leigh and Susy’s love- hate kind of unbalanced relationship dynamics were depicted well. Leigh returns back her hometown with her new family: a writer-supportive-caring husband Charlie and a hockey prodigy, lovely son Gus. In two decades she has started from fresh to build a successful career at investment banking. Her son is a superstar in his Tampa Junior League. But a new job opportunity for Leigh and more opportunities for her son’s developing athletic career, she returns back to place where her own her athletic career had been miserable. We may sense that something terrible happened related to her coach Jeff and her once upon a time best friend Susy. Susy’s own life at hometown is also complicated with the contribution of her ex who cheated her with half of Swedish National hockey team. Her talented hockey player daughter Georgie is about to be relegated to the B team. Because she is just a girl! And as a coach of the hockey team, her own decisions are always ignored or undermined by her male colleagues. Susy wants to burn the hatches and work with Leigh, rekindling her enthusiasm by pushing her pacing up her skates! Leigh unluckily has to deal with Jeff- the man who ruined her dreams- and his favor requests to guarantee her son’s place at hockey team. When the allegations against Jeff arises, she has to confront her past and save her family from the scandal that may rock their world. She needs an ally which means her old friend/ nemesis Susy will be the only one who can support her! Well, rivalry between friends, family of three’s dynamics, mansplaining at workplace, high tension, bottled up anger, high emotions definitely capture your interest! It’s well written, well developed, MUST READ novel I highly recommend from a brilliant author who never disappoints me! Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bradeigh Godfrey

    I’ve loved all of Kathleen West’s novels, but this is her best yet! This book hooked me from the beginning and steadily built in complexity and tension until I couldn’t stop reading until I finished the very last page. The characters are so well-drawn that I felt like I knew them, and the relationships are pitch perfect in their portrayals—husband/wife, parent/child, player/coach, and female friendship. I am so impressed by the depth and emotion in this book and I am going to be recommending it I’ve loved all of Kathleen West’s novels, but this is her best yet! This book hooked me from the beginning and steadily built in complexity and tension until I couldn’t stop reading until I finished the very last page. The characters are so well-drawn that I felt like I knew them, and the relationships are pitch perfect in their portrayals—husband/wife, parent/child, player/coach, and female friendship. I am so impressed by the depth and emotion in this book and I am going to be recommending it to everyone I know. Don’t miss this one!

  3. 5 out of 5

    KK

    I LOVED Home or Away! With complex characters who pack an emotional punch, West’s third novel powerfully examines friendship, family, Olympic dreams, and the secrets that threaten to ruin everything. I could not put it down!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pat Trattles

    While the story was well written, it highlighted everything that is wrong with competitive youth sports today. Parents pushing their kids. The politics involved in the sports organization. Doing anything to get ahead. Only being satisfied with winning. It’s all here. Leigh Mackenzie was a star hockey player. She played on her college team. She played in world championships. She was on her way to the Olympics. But she made a bad choice at the Olympic trials and didn’t make the team. She hung up he While the story was well written, it highlighted everything that is wrong with competitive youth sports today. Parents pushing their kids. The politics involved in the sports organization. Doing anything to get ahead. Only being satisfied with winning. It’s all here. Leigh Mackenzie was a star hockey player. She played on her college team. She played in world championships. She was on her way to the Olympics. But she made a bad choice at the Olympic trials and didn’t make the team. She hung up her hockey skates and quit the game. I found myself despising Leigh. She was self-centered and immature. Although the main story takes place when she is an adult with a 9 year old son, Leigh doesn’t learn anything from her past mistake. She keeps trusting the wrong person. You would think that realizing he was a sleaze ball when she was in college, she wouldn’t give the guy the time of day. But no. She believes him when he says he will make sure her son makes the highest level team if she does him a favor. Even when allegations come to light about his behavior with others, she still counts on him to deliver on his promises. Th story is told in multiple points of view. In addition to Leigh we hear from her husband, Charlie, her son, Gus, and Suzy, her best friend from hockey playing days. Each of these supporting characters are well drawn and likable. They carried the story and made it an enjoyable read. Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for giving me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Trono

    {Thank you to @berkleypub for my gifted review copy} ⁣I was first introduced to author Kathleen West's writing style when I read her 2020 novel Minor Dramas and Catastrophes. One of the sub-genres of contemporary fiction I have come to so enjoy is parenting fiction! ⁣ Maybe it is because I am smack dab in this stage, but I love books that take on the intricacies to a season of life. The worries, the relationships and the daily struggles that we all can relate to, even if our stories look really dif {Thank you to @berkleypub for my gifted review copy} ⁣I was first introduced to author Kathleen West's writing style when I read her 2020 novel Minor Dramas and Catastrophes. One of the sub-genres of contemporary fiction I have come to so enjoy is parenting fiction! ⁣ Maybe it is because I am smack dab in this stage, but I love books that take on the intricacies to a season of life. The worries, the relationships and the daily struggles that we all can relate to, even if our stories look really different from the outside. And this book takes on competitive youth sports, in particular, hockey! ⁣ ⁣"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." ⁣ West shines at character building and sharing the gray areas of life..which also means this book would make for a great book club read. This book packs a punch and also kept me turning the pages until the very end. I am excited to talk more about it when it is released in March! 4.5/5 stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karen Winn

    Wow, this book is such an excellent read. I tore through it, and even woke up early this morning before the kids did in order to finish it. While the plot focuses on Leigh, an ex-hockey player mom, and her family's recent move from Florida to Minnesota so that her son, Gus, can play competitive hockey like she once did, the novel also delves into Leigh's demons, and the reason why she left hockey behind in the first place. In Minnesota, Leigh's past eventually catches up with her, threatening to Wow, this book is such an excellent read. I tore through it, and even woke up early this morning before the kids did in order to finish it. While the plot focuses on Leigh, an ex-hockey player mom, and her family's recent move from Florida to Minnesota so that her son, Gus, can play competitive hockey like she once did, the novel also delves into Leigh's demons, and the reason why she left hockey behind in the first place. In Minnesota, Leigh's past eventually catches up with her, threatening to crumble the life she and her family have built. Told in multiple POV, the characters command such authenticity and draw in the reader with their own layered storylines. The stakes just keep getting higher and more intricate as the novel unfolds. Kathleen West tackles a NUMBER of important issues here, and as a woman, mother, wife, and former athlete, I just felt this novel so deeply. This is another brilliant page-turner by West!

  7. 4 out of 5

    The Page Ladies

    I have never really been big on books with sports in them but this book was very well written! I was surprised by how much I actually did enjoy reading it! The character building was wonderful! The individual relationships and with the depth that was add to each character makes it impossible to not invest yourself in them! This was my first book by this author but I will definitely be changing that!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Yes, yes, yes. It feels like I have been waiting for this book for my entire life and it is exactly what my hockey goalie heart wanted. Female friendships, a husband who managed a bookstore, kids getting into the sport their parents loved on their own, a long over due #MeToo in the hockey world, a pub date right after the Winter Olympics, and a team of young girls coming together to embrace the sport they love - I loved every page, every minute, of Home or Away.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lora Hearst

  11. 5 out of 5

    ARoss

  12. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lira

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lee Heffernan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nigar Alam

  21. 4 out of 5

    Saana

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie - PhDiva Books

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Tucker

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stefani

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jayme

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Berry

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julie Pint

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christina (

  31. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  32. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Baker

  33. 5 out of 5

    Sara Grimes

  34. 4 out of 5

    Isabella Baker

  35. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

  36. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Rosenblit

  37. 5 out of 5

    Christina F

  38. 5 out of 5

    Laura-mae Liddy

  39. 4 out of 5

    Toni Ingebritson

  40. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Christopher

  41. 4 out of 5

    Aubree (mnreadingmama) Cheadle

  42. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  43. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  44. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

  45. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  46. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Woodwick

  47. 5 out of 5

    Tara O

  48. 5 out of 5

    Taryn Gladstone

  49. 4 out of 5

    Martha Paar

  50. 5 out of 5

    Terri

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