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40 Love

2.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,601 ratings  ·  457 reviews
Everyone wins this game of literary tennis, a comedy of manners about envy in which Wickham skewers the nouveau riche. At their country estate, Patrick Chance and his wife host a weekend tennis party. As four couples gather on the sunny terrace, it seems obvious who among them is succeeding, and who is falling behind. But by the end of the party, nothing will be quite as
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 1995)
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Average rating 2.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,601 ratings  ·  457 reviews

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Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Jul 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
Oct 21, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Elle's Book Blog
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chicklit
Too confusing and hard to follow. Normally I LOVE Sophie Kinsella's novels, but this one just did not work for me.
Sep 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
terrible! I normally enjoy her books, but this was utter crap!
May 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: chick-lit
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
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
Aug 03, 2012 rated it liked it
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
James Henry
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Sydney Michelle
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
So boring that I couldn't even get half way through.
Interesting book. Not amazing but great read.
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
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
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
I dint like the characters very much. It does have some funny parts but overall seems like an unnecessary drama.
Sep 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sonnet Fitzgerald
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
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
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
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.
Sep 15, 2011 added it
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.
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
With friends like this, who needs enemies?
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
There's a reason I started reading this, got interested in other things and took a good six months to come back to it.

For one: I didn't connect to most, if any, of the characters. The women were vapid and shallow and the men were prideful and/or trying to rise above their station.
The parts about the Lloyd's Name confused me, having not been up on British financial disasters of the mid-1990s.
I was wanting more tennis, less bickering.
Ella also seemed like a total throw-away Mary Sue'ish character,
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read a lot of kvetching about Madeleine Wickham, that she’s not as good as Sophie Kinsella, her alter ego. The fact is, Wickham writes an entirely different genre. 40 Love is a caustic comedy about self interested people trying desperately to keep up with the Joneses. While this book is very funny, it is a bitter sometimes black sense of humor. There are also some very serious pointed scenes. No romance can be found in this novel. Yet like Kinsella, the characters are well drawn and the ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
This story was on the boring side and it took me most of the book to get the characters straight. It was just interesting enough to keep going. A socially striving, newly wealthy couple hosts a tennis party for a combination of old friends and potential business clients. Most of the people barely tolerate each other. Or they like each other but are too selfish and caught up in themselves to act like real friends. There's a bunch of drama that comes to a head at the end. The children in the story ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Less upbeat than Wickham's usual fare, this exploration of the attitudes and finances of four couples (one a father and daughter) in a tennis/house party weekend exposes the worst traits in them all.

Surprisingly, most of the participants become aware of their own faults and either own up to them or attempt to set something right. It's all about money, and when the guests examine their beliefs, they either accept their faults or try to change.

The cast includes children who are happy to put on a
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
2.5 stars
Yawn. A weekend where friendships are tested and things fall apart, but why should I care about it? What's the hook? That's where this book failed, in my opinion. I was not invested in the characters, I didn't care what happened to them. When the story ended with uncertain futures I moved on with ease. Yes, the novel succeeded in weaving a seamless plot of interconnecting lives and circumstances, but at the end of the day, I just didn't care.

Also, as someone who does not appreciate the
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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
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