Western Lane

Chetna Maroo

11 May 2023
9781529094626
176 pages

Synopsis

'A beautiful and evocative novel about grief, about growing up, about losing and winning. The people and places in this book will stay with me for a long time.' – Sally Rooney

A 'Book of the Year' in The Economist, The Independent, The Week, The New York Times and The Guardian

A deeply moving novel about grief, sisterhood, squash 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 unforgettable coming-of-age story, Chetna Maroo’s first novel is a moving exploration of the closeness of sisterhood, the immigrant experience, and the collective overcoming of grief.

'With this gorgeous debut, Maroo blows most of the competition off the court.' – The Times

'Stunning . . . Spare, tender, brilliantly achieved . . . A novel that unfolds in silences . . . and dares to leave much unsaid.' – The Guardian

'Western Lane is a beautiful and evocative novel about grief, about growing up, about losing and winning. The people and places in this book will stay with me for a long time.'
A slim, subtle debut novel of grief and growing up that conjures a powerful panoply of emotions
Stunning . . . Spare, tender, brilliantly achieved . . . A novel that unfolds in silences . . . and dares to leave much unsaid.