'Few novelists write this simply and richly. With this gorgeous debut, Maroo blows most of the competition off the court.' - The Times
'Terrific . . . Slim, subtle, moving . . . a bold book and a quietly brilliant one' - The Economist
A beautiful and moving first novel about grief, sisterhood and a teenage girl's struggle to transcend herself.
Eleven-year-old Gopi has been playing squash since she was old enough to hold a racket. When her mother dies, her father enlists her in a quietly brutal training regimen, and the game becomes her world. Slowly, she grows apart from her sisters. Her life is reduced to the sport, guided by its rhythms: the serve, the volley, the drive, the shot and its echo.
But on the court, she is not alone. She is with her pa. She is with Ged, a thirteen-year-old boy with his own formidable talent. She is with the players who have come before her. She is in awe.
An indelible coming-of-age story, Chetna Maroo's first novel captures the ordinary and annihilates it with beauty. Western Lane is a valentine to innocence, to the closeness of sisterhood, to the strange ways we come to know ourselves and each other.
'[Western Lane] feels like the work of a writer who knows what they want to do, and who has the rare ability to do it.' - The Guardian