Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Tennis Party” as Want to Read:
The Tennis Party
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Tennis Party

2.96  ·  Rating details ·  5,226 ratings  ·  504 reviews
It was Patrick's idea that they should have the tennis party. After all, he has the perfect setting -- the White House, bought out of his bonuses as an investment banker. He hasn't actually told Caroline, his brash and beautiful wife, what the real reason for the party is. She is glad to welcome Stephen and Annie, their impoverished former neighbours, less glad to see newl ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 9th 2011 by Black Swan (first published 1995)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Tennis Party, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Tennis Party

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 2.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,226 ratings  ·  504 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Tennis Party
Jul 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love Sophie Kinsella, but have yet to find a Madeleine Wickham book that I've enjoyed. Odd, since they're one in the same. This book had empty and confusing characters gathering together around a match of Tennis, which felt more like an afterthought by the time the book was done. The arguments and conflicts in the book made no sense. The children appeared and disappeared as though they were hardly there at all. The pages kept turning, but I'm still not sure what I read. ...more
Ehhhh. Too many characters introduced right off gets confusing. And maybe I should know, but what the hell is "Lloyd's Name"? Kinda pivotal, and I have no clue. ...more
Oct 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Madeleine Wickham, how you continue to disappoint me, even as your pseudonym generally leaves me happy. While "Sophie Kinsella" epitomizes all that is right with chick lit--the frothy story lines, the witty one-liners, the pratfalls, the likable naivete of the main characters--in her books, Madeleine Wickham does the opposite. The word that always rises to the forefront of my consciousness when I read Wickham is "SPITE." Characters are so SPITEFUL. Also, as opposed to naivete, characters are ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
terrible! I normally enjoy her books, but this was utter crap!
Celia T
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: written-by-women
I think the problem with the Madeleine Wickham books is that they're very different from the Sophie Kinsella books (even tho they are, obviously, written by the same person) - but they're pitched to the Sophie Kinsella audience, and so people who go in expecting happy frothy rom-com times end up very taken aback by a book that is, at its heart, very bleak and very cynical (and ends on a fairly grim note). I'm writing this review because I feel sorry for poor 40 Love. Is is brilliant social satir ...more
Elle G.
Too confusing and hard to follow. Normally I LOVE Sophie Kinsella's novels, but this one just did not work for me. ...more
May 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rom-com
I really enjoy Wickham’s writing as Sophie Kinsella, so I was looking forward to reading this. However, most of the characters are unlikeable and their obsession with money and each other’s financial situation, while the heart of the story, is beyond unpleasant.

With a title like “40 love”, I came in expecting at least a bit of romance. There is nothing like it in this book. There is a bit of ‘we’ve been married forever and we’ll make it work’ love but nothing particularly romantic.

One thing I di
Luanne Ollivier
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
I always wait for Ms. Wickham's latest novel with baited breath, so when I saw that her book the Tennis Party was being released stateside with the title 40 Love, I was elated! Unfortunately 40 Love turned out to be one of my least favorite books by Ms. Wickham. It's obvious the book was written early on in her career and she was still working on her writer's voice. That is not to say I didn't enjoy this book, it just wasn't my favorite by this author. 40 Love is the story of several couples who ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't get it. I gave this 4 stars instead of 3 to balance all the hate for this book. This is the first novel by Madeleine Wickham/Sophie Kinsella, and all of her skills are on display here. She writes women's fiction with always above average depth, even in some of her Shopaholic series. And no matter what, she is fun. In her Wickham books she is less funny, and maybe that's why readers are disappointed. But she is a great novelist of manners, gentle ironist, and storyteller in the British tr ...more
James Henry
Paper-thin characters, stereotypes abound (The good, poor mother! The shady salesman! The rich bitch!) and a banal plot. Thank God this was a quick, easy read, otherwise it would have been pure torture to sit through.
Christie Maliyackel
I picked this up on a whim since it’s one of my favorite authors’ first book. It was a quick read, but there were too many characters and storylines that it became confusing at points. Overall, I wasn’t invested in the conflicts or characters at all. I’m so glad Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham’s writing style has evolved SO much over the years!
Megan BG
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found it hard to keep track of some of the characters and the POV jumped between characters a lot. I don't know anything about tennis and I had to look up what Lloyd's Names are (I imagine when this was written, people knew more about it). I'm still not sure what it is. At the end, I didn't really care what happened to anyone. ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love finding old gems! I'm a huge fan of her works under both names, so it's always a treat to come across one I haven't read before, and thus one did not disappoint. It's all about keeping up with the Jones' or in thie case, Patrick and Caroline, who are having a tennis weekend for three other couples at their mansion in the country. If you've ever read any of her books before, you can well imagine that things never go as planned. It's also a good reminder of why we shouldn't make assumptions ...more
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-feb
I love the Shopaholic series and Sophie Kinsella's other stand-alones I enjoy too. I've read one other Madeleine Wickham, Sleeping Arrangements and liked that as well. So I was prepared to really enjoy this book. And instead...I was not impressed. This book seemed utterly pointless. You know, if I hated this book, at least I'd feel something about it. But I feel nothing about this book. ...more
Sydney Michelle
The book was way more simple than what I expect from Sophie. And, I think it tried to be deep with so many different characters, but none of them really developed enough for me to like them. But, it was an easy read and a good story.
Alisha Dunaway
May 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So boring that I couldn't even get half way through. ...more
May 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting book. Not amazing but great read.
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Madeleine Wickham (aka Sophie Kinsella but typically with a sharper edge) takes on a modern day tennis weekend in the country. Host or guest, each main character has a public and private side, the private side usually kept well hidden. But much is revealed to both the reader and other characters in this cutting, satiric romp.
Samantha Dilliway
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I like many others struggled with the volume of characters in the book, I had to keep checking the back cover to remind myself of who was married to who. that being said this was a good filler book with a slow burn type storyline that all came together nicely in the end.
Apoorva Ranade
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I dint like the characters very much. It does have some funny parts but overall seems like an unnecessary drama.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun, easy read. I really wish the writer talked more about Nicola and her disabilities. She apparently had a stroke, why not discuss that? Also Stephen and Annie's storyline just kind of ended, and I wished they delved more into their thoughts and feelings. ...more
May 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: review
It’s hard to believe that ‘The Tennis Party’ is written by Sophie Kinsella (using her real name Madeleine Wickham). At best, it was boring. At worst, it was pointless, annoying and mediocre.

There really isn’t much of a plot. A bunch of characters spend a few days at the Chance couple’s house. They play tennis a few times but the matches were boring and didn’t serve any purpose. Throughout the book, they were constantly eating and talking or being mean to one another. In Patrick’s case, (view spo
Sonnet Fitzgerald
What in the name of suburban angst is a Lloyd's Name?

I assume this is a British term, but despite speaking BE for three years I have never encountered it. I read the US version of the book, via St. Martins, and the publisher decided to neither change this term (which is crucial to the story) nor provide an explanation. I was doing alright reading this light character study until the Lloyd's Name became impassable. I could not understand the rest of the story without it, and my frustration and co
Helene Harrison
Review - This story, like Swimming Pool Sunday seems to lack direction. It just seems to be a collection of various different stories rather than a collective whole. But Wickham's writing, as always, is funny and well-written and clever. The characters seem to be two-dimensional rather than people you can step into the shoes of.

Genre? - Chic Lit / Romance / Drama

Characters? - Caroline Chance / Georgina Chance / Patrick Chance / Charles Mobyn / Cressida Mobyn / Nicola Fairweather / Stephen Fairw
Jul 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Sophie Kinsella's books are like marshmallows -- fun but fluffy. Her books under the name of Madeline Wickham (her real name) tend to be a little more serious and a bit more dull. This story about four couples enjoying a weekend holiday together takes a long time to get started but, once it gets going, it's a fast read with an Kinsella-esque crazy ending. ...more
I didn't even finish- got about 25 pages in and just knew it wasn't worth my time. I had read some pretty bad reviews, so perhaps I was tainted, but it didn't grab me at all right away. ...more
What a crap story. Totally pointless and just a bunch of unlikeable rich snobs you want to hit in the head with tennis rackets.
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
With friends like this, who needs enemies?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Twenties Girl
  • Wedding Night
  • Love Your Life
  • Shopaholic to the Rescue (Shopaholic, #8)
  • Shopaholic to the Stars (Shopaholic, #7)
  • The Undomestic Goddess
  • Remember Me?
  • Finding Audrey
  • Surprise Me
  • Shopaholic and Sister (Shopaholic, #4)
  • Mini Shopaholic (Shopaholic, #6)
  • I've Got Your Number
  • Shopaholic & Baby (Shopaholic, #5)
  • I Owe You One
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Dumped
  • Shopaholic Ties the Knot (Shopaholic, #3)
  • Shopaholic on Honeymoon (Shopaholic #3.5)
  • Christmas Shopaholic
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Madeleine Wickham (born 12 December 1969) is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels. The Shopaholic novels series focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her ...more

Articles featuring this book

This English writer also moonlights as Sophie Kinsella, creator of the Shopaholic series. In her saucy comedy of manners, 40 Love, the nouveau...
25 likes · 15 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“The first rule of winning is to believe you're capable of winning.” 9 likes
More quotes…