6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An intelligent and uncompromising look at unbridled female ambition,
This review is from: Double Fault (Five Star Paperback) (Paperback)
Willie is a 27 year old mid-ranked US tennis player with a passion for the game, huge ambition and a future in front of her. This book tells, in parallel, the story of her marriage to Eric who starts off ranked well below her but ends up in the US Open, and Willie's own decline. It's a kind of A Star is Born in reverse, with the gender roles inverted, and is, I think, as much about our reactions to unbridled female ambition as it is about the characters. Little insertions of Hillary Clinton in the background extend this consideration of women's roles, as back-office supporters for a man or as players in their own right, and the pressures this might create in their/our own psyches as well as the impact it might have on our personal lives.
This isn't as riveting as Kevin, and there are points at which I found myself skimming the narrative. But Shriver is an acutely intelligent writer, uncompromising and sharp, and she excels at creating female characters who refuse to be good girls and play nicely.
There are not many female authors who tackle feminist politics head on but Shriver is one of them. She doesn't shy away from allowing her female protagonists to express anger, even violence, and is excellent at creating characters who are multi-dimensional, both likeable and deeply unpleasant at the same time, but always recognisable and realistic. This is, in lots of ways, an intensely sad book, with an ending that is almost tragic. But if you've ever considered whether it's really possible for a woman to have it all - the top-ranked career, the man, and the baby - then this is a must-read.