Double Fault Hardcover – Jul 14 1997
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From Library Journal
A marriage wrecked on the shoals of ambition is the theme of Shriver's intriguing sixth novel (The Female of the Species, LJ 2/15/87). When 23-year-old Willy Novinsky meets and marries Eric Oberdorfer, she's a rising professional tennis star and he's a Princeton graduate who just plays for the love of the game. As Eric's tennis prowess increases and his ranking in the men's professional circuit rises, Willy suffers an injury and then a loss of confidence, both of which cause her rankings to plummet. Willy must decide whether her love for her husband is greater than her desire for a number-one ranking in women's tennis and how much she will sacrifice to achieve her goal. Shriver's challenge here is to convince the reader to empathize with Willy, despite her unattractive behavior and misguided choices. Shriver is a talented enough writer to win over some readers, but many will quickly lose patience with Willy and want to tell her to simply grow up and set her priorities straight. Recommended for public libraries.?Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Tennis is Willy Novinsky's one love. Ever since she picked up a racket at age four, she's been determined to become a star. But her family has been unsupportive, and Willy's fierce determination to play has left her with no friends and no other interests. Now 23, she's still only ranked 392 in the world and is reeling from the effects of a disastrous love affair with her longtime coach. Then Willy meets Eric Oberdorf, gangly, ambitious, attractive--and a promising tennis player. Attraction turns to love, and Eric and Willy marry. But the marriage has a calamitous effect on Willy's game. As her game goes bad, however, Eric's improves. When he overtakes Willy in the world rankings, the marriage slides from joyous to miserable. Shriver's novel provides an eye-opening and authentic look at the cutthroat world of pro tennis, but it's more than just a sports expose. It's the melancholy and tempestuous story of two people whose love couldn't survive their own selfishness. Emily MeltonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not an "easy" book to get through and it certainly is not fluffy reading but it is very well written and the insights are true gems telling of the human condition. This is not a book I could get through in one sitting, it took several months to slowly take in, one piece at a time. As with Ms. Shriver's other books the plot is almost incidental and relatively transparent, again describing "real life". It is more the way that she exposes and describes the very human interactions and emotions of the characters that take center stage. A well written book definitely worth reading.
professional tennis. Essentially, Shriver wants to show
what can happen when a husband and wife are uncompromsingly
ambitious, which occurs more and more as women take on careers.
She succeeds brilliantly, but in the process has to depict men
and women behaving very badly indeed. It's not her fault; that's
real life. Readers who like tradtionally redemptive and redeemable
characters and happy resolutions, though, had better open their
minds before tackling DOUBLE FAULT. It's worth the effort. (The
reader from Fox River Grove might as well stick to Harlequin romances,
The sadness of Shriver's book is completely earned, and
it will make a sophisticated reader think hard about how to manage
life as someone else's partner. The book is written in the traditional,
realistic voice, and with impressive literary virtuosity. The
subject-matter, as mentioned, pushes the envelope. What you wind up
with is a formally disciplined, stylish novel with social guts.
Most recent customer reviews
What a relief to finish this depressing book. By the end I despised Willy and wished she would have used that glass shard. Yuck, what a loser. Read morePublished on June 8 2012 by S. Mackay
After reading We Need to Talk about Kevin in book club I searched out books by the same author. As an avid tennis player this looked ideal. Read morePublished on April 8 2009 by Leslie Hobson
An avid tennis player I am when I picked up a copy of "Double Fault" which clearly stated on the inside cover that it was a novel about an even harder sport- love and... Read morePublished on March 4 2004 by Laudan Tehrani
Boy, I thought this was a bitter work. I liked some of her reviews in the Inquirer so I picked this up. Writing was almost callow. Read morePublished on March 6 2002
The book is undoubtely well-crafted an written by a real "pro". The dialogue in particular was superb--almost too clever. Read morePublished on Sept. 26 1997 by P. Meltzer
This book has a lot of edge. It starts like an idyllic romance
and ends like film noir. The transition occurs gracefully -- through
powerful writing, a well-crafted... Read more