Another Review at MyShelf.Com

40 Love
(Previously published as The Tennis Party)
Madeleine Wickham (aka Sophia Kinsella)
Read by Katherine Kellgren

Macmillan Audio
August 30, 2011/ ISBN 142721235X
British / Couples / Humor / Audiobook: Unabridged – 6 CDs

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

Having enjoyed A Desirable Residence I thought maybe 40 Love (The Tennis Party) would be just as entertaining – and it was… I like how Wickham takes the time to explain her characters as she introduces them. I have to say I was as judgmental about the characters as they are about each other. Everyone thought they were better than the other when they all have major flaws. What starts as various levels of snobbery ends in startlingly-embarrassing self-revelation – for everyone, including the kids…

Patrick and Caroline Chance are giving a house party at their country estate. They enjoy living large. Tennis, food, alcohol, and chitchat are the highlights. Guests are Charles and Cressida Mobyn (wealthy & aloof), Annie and Stephen (average income), Don and Valerie (father & daughter, neighbors) and Ella Harte (an old flame). The players take to the court where they make demands and attempt to take advantage of each other. Eventually tennis volleys switch to personal volleys…. Emotions run high, but well hidden. One couple suffers financial and marital ruin… Another is railroaded … While another seeks revenge on the one that got away…

Listeners/readers may react negatively to some of these characters, but they will eventually identify with them once the characters receive a good slap of reality. It’s quite a story to relate to on many levels. And truth be told, it happens to all of us sooner or later. Wickham is a master at creating characters, redeemable or not…. I enjoy her work. Just a fair-warning there are some graphic love scenes.

The audio version is narrated by Katherine Kellgren, a popular award-winning narrator. Born in New York, she lived and study acting in London. Kellgren also narrates A Desirable Residence. She’s able to pull off the mood and attitude of both male and female characters. All in all a nice weekend listen…

Reviews of other titles by this author

Sleeping Arrangements
A Desirable Residence

Reviewed 2012