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Book Club Kits: Carrie Soto is Back

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “An epic adventure about a female athlete perhaps past her prime, brought back to the tennis court for one last grand slam” (Elle), from the author of Malibu Rising, Daisy Jones & The Six, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

“A heart-filled novel about an iconic and persevering father and daughter.”—Time

“Gorgeous. The kind of sharp, smart, potent book you have to set aside every few pages just to catch your breath. I’ll take a piece of Carrie Soto forward with me in life and be a little better for it.”—Emily Henry, author of Book Lovers and Beach Read

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, NPR, PopSugar, Glamour, Reader’s Digest

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.

Discussion Questions

1. How would you describe CARRIE SOTO IS BACK to a friend? What would you consider as its major themes?

2. Describe the character Carrie Soto in three words. If you had the opportunity to change one thing about her, what would it be and why?

3. Discuss the media’s treatment of Carrie Soto. Early on, journalists called her “The Battle Axe.” How much do you think that was warranted? How are the male and female players treated differently in the press?

4. Who were some of your favorite characters in the novel and why? Were there characters you considered villains? Why or why not?

5. What makes Carrie’s bond with her father so strong?

6. When Carrie’s dad presses her about dating Bowe, she responds: “I’m not dating anyone. You can pretty much always assume that.” What’s your theory on why Carrie refrains from any sort of romantic life?

7. Carrie sees tennis as a world of winners and losers. What do you think of that view? How can such an outlook be beneficial, and how could it be detrimental?

8. Nicki Chan takes up a lot of real estate in Carrie’s head. How do their styles differ, both on the court and in life? What do you think Carrie learned from Nicki?

9. Aside from Nicki, which of Carrie’s rivals did you most enjoy seeing her play against? Were there any of her competitors you felt drawn to, or repelled by? Please explain.

10. Melbourne. Paris. London. New York. If you could watch Carrie Soto play in one venue, which would it be and why?

11. In the entrance hall at Centre Court at Wimbledon, there is an inscription above the doors and a quote from “If—,” a poem by Rudyard Kipling: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two imposters the same . . .” What does this quote mean to you?

12. When Javier is coaching Bowe, he suggests more of an open stance, to which Bowe responds: “I’m not messing with my footwork now.... I just beat one of the greatest players in the world with my stance.” Javier then says, “Good is the enemy of great.” What do you think Javier means by that observation?

13. The tabloids were vicious, leading Carrie to posit: “I should never let on how much I wanted to win or, worse, that I believed I deserved to win.” What’s your take on how the media in the novel presented Carrie’s story?

14. How did Carrie’s relationship to Bowe change her life? How did it change his?

15. CARRIE SOTO IS BACK is very cinematic. Who would you cast for the movie in the roles of Carrie, Bowe, Javier and Nicki Chan?

16. What is the greatest thing Carrie Soto has learned by the end of the novel?

About Author

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of the New York Times Bestselling novels Carrie Soto Is BackMalibu RisingDaisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, as well as One True LovesMaybe in Another LifeAfter I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Her books have been chosen by Reese’s Book Club, Read with Jenna, Indie Next, Best of Amazon, and Book of the Month. Her novel, Daisy Jones and The Six, is currently being adapted by Hello Sunshine into a limited series for Amazon. She lives in Los Angeles.