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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780349004181

Price: £22

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‘Funny, poignant, elegantly written, I adored this novel’ Amanda Hodgkinson

‘Wonderful… It’s thrillingly written, delicately accomplished and will live in my head for a long time’ Lloyd Shepherd

Cara is a dedicated neuroscientist with a research post at Cambridge. Heather is her almost-stepdaughter, drifting towards the end of school, trying to picture a future that fits her. Paul is Cara’s partner and Heather’s father – and when he suddenly disappears with no explanation, these two very different women, legally and biologically unrelated, need to figure out their place in each other’s life.

Set in Cambridge and Las Vegas, each city in its way as artificial as the other, Pathways is about connections forged and connections failed, and how people struggle to understand themselves and each other. A novel of both the heart and the head, it is perceptive, wry and unexpectedly moving, a love story of deep originality and intelligence.


Between a scientist and her step-daughter, neuroscience, Cambridge and Las Vegas, is woven the most original love story I have read in a long time. Funny, poignant, elegantly written, I adored this novel
Amanda Hodgkinson
An impressive debut ... each vignette is a masterfully drawn miniature
Telegraph, praise for Girl Reading
Pathways is a remarkable feat. A compelling and original novel centred on the interwoven lives of two fascinating women, Pathways offers a meditation on human connection - neurological and emotional. Ward emerges as a novelist of tremendous skill: her prose is intelligent, rich and deeply touching
Jessica Cornwell
A real wow of a first novel. The premise is alarmingly simple and yet somehow stunning ... It's a book packed full of adventures and stories and you completely lose yourself in them as Ward races from the 1300s into the future ... Each story is beautifully self-contained. This is the book's great strength: the perfect, separate, involving worlds it creates. Like [David] Mitchell, Ward is equally adept at shifting between completely different registers and voices. But though this novel is both technically accomplished and intellectually challenging, it doesn't show off and is not intimidating, which gives it a real beating heart ... her talent sings off the page
Viv Groskop, The Times, praise for Girl Reading
In her long awaited second novel Katie Ward unleashes the full force of her poetic instincts and intellectual rigour on the endlessly refracting experience that is the human mind in the human body: the slippage between individual consciousness and objective reality. In shimmering, impressionistic prose, she presents us with a series of dizzying snapshots of modern life in all its extreme indignity, banality and yes, preciousness. Ward's sharp, sardonic ear is ever alert to the absurdity and inadequacies of everyday interactions; perhaps most impressive is her deep understanding of the experience of living in a female body
Kate Worsley
Katie Ward's assured debut is inspired by that mysterious and provocative subject of a thousand visual images: a woman reading ... In each chapter Ward twists a story around real works of art. Her seven unpredictable tales serve up a lively, irreverent and even feminist journey through history
Time Out Book of the Week, praise for Girl Reading
Wonderful... It's thrillingly written, delicately accomplished and will live in my head for a long time
Lloyd Shepherd
Each of the stories are completely different from each other, but make a truly wonderful arc and a lovely whole. It's such a satisfying piece of work, and brave
Caroline Quentin, TV Book Club, praise for Girl Reading
If you like your books deeply engaging to almost hypnotising, you'll love sinking into the skin of each character, chapter by chapter. I just love how seamlessly the story moves between the women...fabulous!
Eva Verde
A debut of rare individuality and distinction. Katie Ward inhabits each of her seven scenes, her seven eras, with a fluent and intuitive touch, and sentence by sentence, deft and mercurial, she surpasses the readers' expectations. What is set down on the page has a rich and allusive hinterland, so that the reader's imagination has a space to work, and what is unsaid has its own fascination. The writing is full of light and shadow, alive with fresh and startling perceptions. Ward is wise, poised, and utterly original
Hilary Mantel, praise for Girl Reading
It's so delicately nuanced and as you go through each chapter, suddenly all the recurring themes start weaving themselves together so by the end chapter, I was so moved
Meera Syal, TV Book Club, praise for Girl Reading
A panel painting teeming with life ... Ms. Ward renders her settings in bright detail and shows her characters at captivating moments
Wall Street Journal, praise for Girl Reading
Not for Katie Ward the coming-of-age first novel starring a barely disguised over-sensitive heroine airing her resentments: Girl Reading reads as though its author is five books down. She has plunged straight into a series of difficult challenges, her handling of time and place accomplished with authority, skill and knowledge. If the basic idea is simple, reminiscent of the classic writing class exercise in which students are made to produce a tale inspired by an art postcard, the result is a complex showcase for Ward's talents
Joanna Briscoe, The Guardian, praise for Girl Reading
Pathways is sublime. A skilled and insightful observer of the human condition, Ward weaves the connective tissue together between her characters - and ultimately ourselves - beautifully
Chioma Okereke
This is a rich debut that fans of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas will enjoy
Psychologies, praise for Girl Reading
This isn't a novel - it's a time machine! Well, nearly. As each chapter transports you to a completely different century, you'll find yourself wondering if Ward has her very own Tardis ... I guarantee the stories will relate to your own life in some way
Cosmopolitan Book of the Week, praise for Girl Reading