Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular.
By the time Carrie retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach.
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, British 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.
Carrie Soto is Back is another addictive, readable novel set in the same universe as some of her other books, and this time following another strong woman: Carrie Soto, a retired tennis star who decides to make a comeback, at the age of 47, to try to beat her previous record (which has just been matched by another player).
The book then takes us back to when Carrie was a girl, just starting to play tennis, and through her rise to fame, depicting her relationship with family members, partners and fellow players. We see characters from other novels appear or referenced at some points, as we’ve seen from some other books set in the same universe – I really enjoyed that. We come back to the present-day narrative at various points, and for me, the story of Carrie growing up and cementing herself as one of the G.O.A.Ts was just as addictive as seeing whether she could make her comeback! We also see some transcripts of clips from sports commentators and news reports from the time peppered between chapters, which add some extra colour.
If you don’t know much about tennis, don’t worry – the basics and more are explained well. If you hate tennis, perhaps this book isn’t for you because it very much focuses on the tennis world, but I don’t think you have to be a big fan at all to enjoy it so I’d say still give it a go regardless!
There are some predictable moments, and some cheesy parts, which I kind of expect from TJR’s books but it’s so enjoyable and SO easy to read. I raced through Carrie Soto is Back in no time and would really recommend it as a fun holiday read.