This is the fourth and final interconnected book of author Taylor Jenkins Reid. She has specialized in complex women throughout the decades- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was set in the 60s, Daisy Jones & The Six in the 70s, Malibu Rising was set in the 80s, and now Carrie Soto in the 90s (tho the book felt a bit more modern-day). Carrie was a previous cameo character in Malibu Rising, and Easter eggs are sprinkled throughout the book, making little connections with the previous three.
Carrie Soto is a driven professional tennis player who dominated the sport in the 70s & 80s but has since retired. Bored with retirement, she rejoins the tennis circuit when a younger player ties her record for Slams won. At 37, she is an unlikely player but coached by her father, she feels she can stage a comeback. And what a comeback it is, for her ambition and desire to win push her to the brink, but she perseveres. Carrie is criticized and judged, as all women are, and I saw parallels with women athletes from years ago to today- I thought especially of the Williams sisters who are superb athletes and transformed the game but didn’t fit the mold of earlier female tennis players. Her story is softened in the end when she decides the game doesn’t have to encompass her whole life, and she begins to make friendships and rekindled a romance with another player.
While I liked Daisy Jones & The Six and Malibu Rising the best of the four, this quartet of books comes highly recommended!