Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Summary: This is my favorite book I’ve read in a long time! Great characters I loved getting to know and a perfectly-paced plot.
I’ve been reading a bunch of review copies this month and not completely connecting with any of them, so this was a lovely and surprising change. I know everyone’s been raving about Taylor Jenkins Reid, but didn’t expect that I’d love this story of an athletic comeback so much. Carrie Soto is a retired tennis player with a record number of Grand Slam wins, but her ambition has not made her popular. After her record is matched by a younger player, she risks her reputation by coming out of retirement to regain her record and become the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam.
This was one of the best books I’ve read this year. The author focuses on a small cast of characters and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them all. They all have their strengths, weaknesses, and histories. The relationships between them had a lot of depth as a result. I loved seeing these relationships develop. Carrie’s personal growth was also incredible to watch. I admired her ambition and give-no-fucks attitude, but it was great to see how she matured during her comeback too.
As someone who understands the basics of tennis, but isn’t a huge fan, I was blown away by the author’s ability to draw me into that world. She really captured the highs and lows that are possible in sport. She also did a great job showing what tennis meant to Carrie. The inclusion of editorials and transcripts of other sports commentary was a fantastic window into the criticism female athletes often live with The pacing was spot-on. Chapters were headed by time periods, with some spanning years and others covering as little as a single day or a single match. I couldn’t put this down as the tension and excitement ratcheted up throughout Carrie’s comeback season. Really – I stayed up late reading this and got up early to finish it, which is about as close as I come to reading something in one sitting these days.
I’ve had a hard time reviewing some books I’ve felt ‘meh’ about lately. With this book, I have the opposite problem. I’m not sure I can be effusive enough or properly convey everything I loved about it. Instead I’ll just inarticulately shove the book in your general direction. Read it and get to know Carrie yourself; I’m sure you’ll love her as much as I did.