Twenty Miles by Cara Hedley (Coach House) hurtles headlong through the chaos of a season of tough young women playing university hockey. Isabel Norris (Iz) is the unlikely heroine of this novel, a pretty girl whose talent for hockey is more of a complication than a gift. She arrives at the University of Winnipeg and survives the competition to earn a spot on the Scarlets, but she isn’t even sure that she wants a future as an athlete. The sport is a family legacy and she is trying to live up to her small-town superstar father who died young. Iz finds a place amongst the brutes and behemoths, gaining their respect and acceptance, but she always struggles with her identity as a hockey player. The narrative is playful and hectic, full of pranks, locker-room shouting and girls behaving badly. Characters called Moon, Hal, Pelly, Toad and Heezer are sometimes hard to keep track of, and the team almost becomes one big character in itself. The sections written from the perspective of Iz’s grandmother occasionally obscure the story and it isn’t clear what they accomplish. Yet Twenty Miles captures the confusion of a young woman experiencing a new world, balancing a hockey-playing boyfriend, the tragedies of her past and the unexpected camaraderie of an all-girl team.