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Library Journal Review
West (Are We There Yet?) takes readers deep into the world of competitive sports. Leigh and Susy were once best friends, teammates on an elite women's hockey team headed for the Olympics. Looking to guarantee a spot on the Olympic team, Leigh feels her only way to do that is to have a relationship with the coach. When that doesn't work, she gives up on her dreams. Twenty years later, she returns to her hometown so her son, Gus, can pursue his own hockey dreams. Leigh is reunited with Susy and, despite her best efforts not to be, is swept back into the world of competitive hockey. This forces her to face the reality of what happened long ago. This novel explores what happens when players are coerced and taken advantage of by those who hold positions of power. Cassandra Campbell brings Leigh to life as she explores her own feelings, and the effect on her family regarding the choices she was forced to make years ago. VERDICT Though it's heavy on the sports talk, West's story is really about the love of the game. This novel explores timely events with heart.--Elyssa Everling
Publishers Weekly Review
In West's charming latest (after Are We There Yet?), a former Olympic hopeful moves her family back to her Minnesota hometown in hopes of giving her nine-year-old son his best chance to play hockey. Two decades earlier, Leigh MacKenzie was cut from the 2002 U.S. women's Olympic hockey team despite reassurances from her coach, Jeff Carlson, that she'd get a spot in return for sexual favors. Now, with a member of the 2014 team having filed a complaint against Jeff for sexual misconduct, and Jeff pulling the strings for the junior team, he gets Leigh to write a letter of support in exchange for a jersey for Gus. She also reconnects with an old friend and teammate, Suzy Walker, the only one who knows the truth about how Jeff treated Leigh. Suzy won two Olympic medals, but she covets Leigh's steady marriage with Charlie, "the nicest person in the universe." Gus, meanwhile, logs his ice time religiously in his "Hockey Bible," hoping to please his family and coaches. While a few too many hockey practices and Leigh's perseverating on her past relationship with Jeff drag on the narrative, West makes palpable her characters' love for the game. This offers a sincere and thoughtful study of dedication and sacrifice. Agent: Joanna MacKenzie, Nelson Literary. (Mar.)
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