About the Book:
In this powerful novel about the cost of greatness, a legendary athlete attempts a comeback when the world considers her past her prime—from the New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising.
Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.
But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.
At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.
In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.
Evelyn Hugo. Daisy Jones. Nina Riva. And now meet Carrie Soto, another larger-than-life fictional character created by Taylor Jenkins-Reid.
So many thoughts! Yes this is about tennis, but the easy-breezy writing style and the colorful cast of narrators make the subject matter fascinating and very exciting.
I think Carrie Soto might be one of my favorite TJR characters? Her fierce strength and unwavering self-confidence was ahead of her time and was very refreshing! She was misunderstood by the press and fans, but never lost her drive to win.
“You act like you’ve dedicated your life to tennis. But you came back to win, not to play. That’s why they’re all pissed at you for returning. You’ve got no heart.”
I chose to listen to the audiobook, which is narrated by the expressive and upbeat Stacy Gonzalez, along with an amazing cast including tennis legends Mary Carillo and Patrick McEnroe and the great Julia Whelan.
I felt the character of Carrie Soto more deeply via the audiobook experience. The narrator’s expressive voice gave life to Carrie through all her triumphs and heartbreaks. A trailblazing figure in the world of tennis but almost always emotionally unavailable.
“… sometimes I think being the very best is antithetical to being happy.”
Readers will be happy to know this is actually also a very refreshing romance. While I don’t need a happy ending, this one has it!!
(Thanks to Libro.fm and the publisher for the audiobook listening copy provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.)