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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tennis with the Macbeths
If Shakespeare's Macbeths had held a tennis party, it would have been just as Madeleine Wickham describes it in her wonderful novel, The Tennis Party. This is a book about the haves, the have-nots and the just plain obnoxious. Caroline and Patrick Chance invite three couples to their English country house, ostensibly to play tennis. Annie and Stephen are overmortgaged...
Published on May 23 2000

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars First book re issued
3.5 for the book 5 for the reader.

The name Sophie Kinsella is immediately recognizable as the author of the hugely successful Shopaholic chick lit series. How about the name Madeleine Wickham? No? Well, they're one and the same.

The Tennis Party, originally published in 1995, was Wickham's first book. It has been re-released in North America as 40...
Published on Oct. 23 2011 by Luanne Ollivier


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tennis with the Macbeths, May 23 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Tennis Party (Paperback)
If Shakespeare's Macbeths had held a tennis party, it would have been just as Madeleine Wickham describes it in her wonderful novel, The Tennis Party. This is a book about the haves, the have-nots and the just plain obnoxious. Caroline and Patrick Chance invite three couples to their English country house, ostensibly to play tennis. Annie and Stephen are overmortgaged and so poor that Annie can't afford tennis clothes for the party and has to borrow from Caroline. Smarmy Charles, an old friend of Patrick's, comes to the party with his spoiled, obnoxious wife, the wealthy Cressida. Equally obnoxious are Don and Valerie, an aggressive father and daughter team who are the only ones who really believe that the weekend is about tennis - and care about nothing but winning the weekend games. But the real game is the one Patrick plays off the tennis court in the den of his country manor, where he attempts, one by one, to persuade each of his male guests to engage in a shaky financial scheme in order to earn a huge bonus to keep up his lifestyle. Only the over-trusting and gullible Stephen buys into the scheme, but, fortunately, is rescued by his wife's and his good sense before the story is over. Nothing is as it appears, as Charles finds out that his wife's financial situation, which he believed to be unshakable, is a disaster. Cressida, for her part, finds out that her husband has been dallying with his ex-paramour, and Stephen learns that his good friend Patrick is little more than an opportunistic crook. The entire situation blows up into a fracas that is both amusing and satisfying. Wickham's sly and understated British humor is evident throughout the book, as is her excellent writing style. Readers who crave Rosamunde Pilcher with an edge will love Madeleine Wickham's The Tennis Party.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ending, June 2 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Tennis Party (Paperback)
The many interwoven plots show the characters from different perspectives and allow the reader's opinions to evolve as the story develops. Conflicting objectives are mostly resolved in the end but some things are left to the reader's imagination so read carefully for clues to people's motivations and true desires. Excellent character development causes reader to examine own opinions about issues of fidelity, loyalty, honesty and integrity in different contexts.
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3.0 out of 5 stars First book re issued, Oct. 23 2011
By 
Luanne Ollivier - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 40 Love: A Novel (Audio CD)
3.5 for the book 5 for the reader.

The name Sophie Kinsella is immediately recognizable as the author of the hugely successful Shopaholic chick lit series. How about the name Madeleine Wickham? No? Well, they're one and the same.

The Tennis Party, originally published in 1995, was Wickham's first book. It has been re-released in North America as 40 Love.

Four couples gather for a weekend tennis party. - but the host believes it should be a tournament instead. And although tennis is ostensibly the reason for being there, each of the couples have their own reasons and agendas for the weekend. With a little too much sun and a lot of too much drink, the social facade begins to slip. Quite a bit.

I chose to listen to 40 Love rather than read it. I don't think I would have enjoyed the book near as much in written form. The reader was award winner Katherine Kellgren - one of the best around. Her accents are spot on, reflecting every character's personality and nuances. Each character sprang to life and immediately formed a picture in my mind. Her intonation and inflection give the story life and verve. It is such a treat to listen to her narrate.

Having read all of the Shopaholic series, I was expecting more of the same. And yes, in a way it's there - it is chick lit for sure. There are the 'lighter' characters such as the 'innocent' couple Annie and Stephen. And I found the children delightful. But it is the darker characters that really gave me pause. I enjoyed the tale up until the last few chapters. It is a bit of a farce, poking fun at the 'noveau riche' and the desire to have more, more, more. But, the character of Charles was just plain cruel and truly vicious. I was actually quite shocked by the words Wickham put in his mouth and the violence he displayed. Kellgren's reading intensified the effect. I was disappointed with the direction taken with this character and his wife's reaction and subsequent (non) action. It rather spoiled what had been a good listen up to that point. I guess I just associate chick lit with a feel good read.

Wickham/Kinsella has definitely improved since this original effort.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars boring, Feb. 3 2008
This review is from: Tennis Party (Paperback)
after i read all of kinsella's books i found out her real name is madaline (spelling?) wichkham or sometihng like that. anyhoo i was so exited about reading these other novels, the first one i bought was 'the tennis party' i didnt even finish it, it was too boring and didnt in anyway catch my attention. seems like sophie and madeline are 2 totally different people.
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The Tennis Party
The Tennis Party by Sophie Kinsella (Paperback - July 4 2011)
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