White Pine Spotlight: Fifteen Lanes by SJ Laidlaw


Fifteen Lanes by SJ Laidlaw

  • Difficult, but sensitive novel about two young girl’s, one of whom was born into life in Mumbai’s red light district.
  • I loved that the focus is fundamentally on Noor and her story.
  • I was worried at first how the author was going to bring the second story – Grace’s – to bear on Noor’s, how to make the reader see the similarities in their situations, but she does it simply and believably.
  • The themes are many: gender status and roles, secrets, hope, privilege and poverty/wealth disparities/juxtaposition, cultural relativism, reproductive choice/access to contraception, the value of human life, HIV/AIDS epidemic, friendship, and so much more.
  • Ultimately though the novel forces to reader to challenge their own assumptions/beliefs/ biases about the nature of sex work, the ‘value’ of sex workers, and western notions of ‘what to do about the situation’…
  • Clearly there are no easy answers.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.


  • Check out Forest Fridays, virtual visits with featured authors.  We will be hosting a couple of them here at ESA.
  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 16th should see Ms. Wray in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.