Val's Pick: "Carrie Soto is Back" by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid is quickly becoming one of my “go to” authors. From The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo to Daisy Jones & the Six, her novels never fail to suck me in. I am happy to report this was also the case with her most recent book, Carrie Soto is Back.
The character of Carrie Soto made her debut in Reid’s novel, Malibu Rising, as a minor character. She steps into the main character role in Carrie Soto is Back as a retired tennis champion watching a younger tennis star encroach on her record of twenty Grand Slam wins. Carrie is determined to hold on to her hard-earned record and decides to come out of retirement to defend it.
Perhaps the most unexpected surprise for me while reading this novel was how much I enjoyed the glimpse into the life of a (fictional) professional athlete. As a spectator, it’s easy to see how much a sport can physically wear on a professional athlete - what’s not always so obvious is the mental strain playing at the professional level can take on a person. When your life is consumed by one thing - and you’re the best at that one thing - what happens to the person when that one thing is gone? That is the question that Carrie Soto (and maybe some of us here in the real world) is trying to answer.