My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Publisher - Serpent's Tail
Pages - 339
Blurb from Goodreads
Ever since she picked up a racquet at the age of four, tennis has been Willy Novinsky's one love. But when she falls for fellow pro Eric Oberdorf, their relationship is tested to breaking point by their competitive urges.
Tennis is not something I am interested in at all however when on holiday we do pick up something we normally wouldn't read. Willy Novinsky is on a journey to becoming a professional tennis player, her ranking score is going up, she is smashing her competition and winning her matches. She has no time for friends, romance or really anything that isn't tennis, until Eric Oberdorf comes along. They embark on a relationship and she teaches him some pointers to strengthen his game. As their relationship deepens, Willy finds herself struggling with her game and watching Eric go from strength to strength. Tennis brought them together, it may very well tear them apart.
It has been a while since I have really disliked a character as much as I ended up disliking Willy. As her game declines she becomes a vindictive, nasty, horrible character, Eric is understanding, sweet, competitive and no matter what he does it further enrages or prompts her to behave like a brat.
Without going into spoilers as I hate that, sex and sexual terminology is used and the subject of abortion is mentioned, in what some people may feel, distressing detail. I found Willy to be a cold fish, a character with little to no redeeming qualities. As much as tennis is not my thing, I must say I wasn't as bored as I thought I would be reading this type of theme. I have read Shriver before and I would read her again, I don't particularly like her style however I cannot put her books down until I have got through the whole story. There is something about how she writes that pulls you along and in, even when you don't like or find the subject content particularly interesting. 2/5 for me this time, I can't say it is like any of her books I have read before as they all seem very different, I would certainly say give it a bash if you came across it but I wouldn't actively encourage you to seek it out.