Leigh is the most fully realized and compelling character in West's catalog; recognizable, if not exactly relatable ... West captures the kid hockey scene with blade-sharp precision (particularly in the chirpy-yet-bullying missives from the team's parent-manager). And although she again relies on chapters told variously through different characters, Leigh's voice rises above the roar of the crowd.
With alternating narrators, West sets Gus’ youthful exuberance against Leigh’s hesitant acceptance of her past, and in the process gives Leigh the agency to understand her own history as a desperately focused young individual at the mercy of a power-hungry coach ... [A] nuanced, heartfelt novel.
Charming ... 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.
The book unfolds from...four characters’ points of view, providing 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. An engrossing, painfully honest story about how far some people will go to chase success.