Cover detail of Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I'm stopping by quickly as I am actually having a holiday day with my lovely husband, we are going Christmas shopping, maybe enjoying a festive afternoon tea and I am so ready for this!

Having talked about cosy books in Autumn and the end of summer, I'm actually heading back into summer for my next review. What can I say? I'm a contrary person. hehehe. Carrie Soto is Back is a cracker of a read by literary powerhouse Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Read my Review of Malibu Rising

The Plot

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 earned 20 Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the nest with her father as her coach. Javier - a former champion himself - has trained her since the age of 3.

But 6 years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record being taken from her by a brutal, stunning British player named Nicki Chan.

At 37 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 say that they never liked the 'Battle-Axe' anyway. Even if her bost doesn't move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she 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 final epic season.

My Thoughts

I'm not really sure how but this new release completely slipped under my radar. When I saw it was published I quickly purchased and began to devour it. (I read it I didn't eat it hehe). It would be perfect to read during Wimbledon with a bowl of strawberries and cream by your side.

Jenkins Reid has dealt with film stars, a 1970s band and a family descended from rock royalty. Now it is the turn of tennis and no star comes bigger than Carrie Soto. The storytelling cracks on at a good pace as we follow Carrie through her earliest years, first picking up a tennis racquet and being coached by her father. At age 11 Carrie realises that she can play tennis professionally, foregoing a full school education to train and always with the mantra that every game, every point is better than the last.

Interestingly while there is a hint of romance, the main themes are relationships. Carrie's relationship with her father forming the bulk of the theme. Carrie quickly eclipses Javier's talent but it is his guidance in growing as a person that give Carrie her best lessons. And when Carrie realises how much she enjoys the playing of tennis, the chapter becomes almost zen-like.

The other theme is one of legacy. As humans we compare athletes of the past with present day. How would Martina Navratilova at her peak, compare with Serena Williams for example. The book details beautifully with attitudes to women in sport. If a woman wanted to win, she was deemed 'unlikeable', a 'battle-axe' or that old chestnut 'aggressive'. Instead the message is about respecting those that came before and paved the way for others still to come. A true gallery of champions.

This is vintage Jenkins Reid and dare I say, you'll enjoy the few references to characters from previous novels. I very much enjoyed this and if you are a fan of this brilliant author, I think you will too.