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40 Love: A Novel Hardcover – August 30, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312562756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312562755
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Both the author and reader win this game of literary tennis, a comedy of manners in which British first-novelist Wickham aces the shallow rich, displaying a wicked backhand along the way. At their country estate, Patrick Chance and his wife host a weekend tennis party of six (two couples, plus a widower and his daughter) that "comes to an unseemly end." Serving as a catalyst for the debacle, the unprincipled Patrick tries unsuccessfully to peddle a financial fund to the superwealthy Charles Mobyn, then cons Stephen Fairweather, a floundering doctoral student, into mortgaging his home to make the same investment. While the couples' children amuse themselves with pony rides and rehearsals for a play, the adults suffer a series of personal revelations and crises. These stem not only from Charles's self-serving schemes but from the unexpected arrival of Charles's ex-lover, Ella Harte, to whom Charles is still attracted, as well as from an unexpected financial threat. In this light, fast-paced novel, where the plot is sure, if occasionally predictable, and the characters are superficial, because that is their nature, Wickham deftly shows at every turn that matters may not be as they seem, but that one truth can be relied upon: money corrupts.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A young English writer's debut assembles a nasty gang of upwardly mobile friends at a houseparty in the British countryside- -and lets them at one another's throats over tennis and cocktails. Patrick Chance's tennis party is not about tennis: He needs to sell a pricey and questionable investment plan in order to reap a cushy bonus. So he and his wife, Caroline, have invited a likely buyer: their old pal Charles, who's come into money by marrying an heiress, the ultraspoiled Cressida. Also invited for the weekend are penniless Annie and Stephen, both salt-of-the-earth types, and neighbors Don and Valerie, a vulgar father-daughter duo who truly care about winning the tournament. Cressida finds Caroline trashy, and she hates the fact that the Chances are friends from Charles's bohemian youth. Patrick slimily tries to sell his lemon plan to Charles and is politely blown off; in a dither because he fears the loss of his bonus, he turns his salesman ways on trusting Stephen and convinces him to take a second mortgage out on his house to invest in the fund. Then Ella, the great love of Charles's youth, shows up uninvited, just back from a world tour. After a drunken dinner, she and Charles slither off to the garden. Later, puffed up by his adulterous conquest, Charles slips into his bedroom only to discover--via a letter--that his wife's finances are so shaky that they now face financial ruin. The finals of the tournament turn into a verbal melee as Stephen realizes he's been had by Patrick, and Cressida finds out about Charles's infidelity. Recriminations are exchanged all around before this houseparty from hell adjourns for the weekend. Despite its contrivances, this featherweight comedy delivers a decided satisfaction: pleasingly humiliating comeuppances for all its odious characters. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I thought the characters were a little boring .
AmazonAnn
I started scanning the pages about halfway through and didn't find much to focus on and the ending left me wondering why I even bothered.
chic lit lover
I am a Wickham/Kinsella fan and was very disappointed by this book.
LSW

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
If Shakespeare's Macbeths had held a tennis party, it would have been just as Madeleine Wickham describes it in her wonderful novel, The Tennis Party. This is a book about the haves, the have-nots and the just plain obnoxious. Caroline and Patrick Chance invite three couples to their English country house, ostensibly to play tennis. Annie and Stephen are overmortgaged and so poor that Annie can't afford tennis clothes for the party and has to borrow from Caroline. Smarmy Charles, an old friend of Patrick's, comes to the party with his spoiled, obnoxious wife, the wealthy Cressida. Equally obnoxious are Don and Valerie, an aggressive father and daughter team who are the only ones who really believe that the weekend is about tennis - and care about nothing but winning the weekend games. But the real game is the one Patrick plays off the tennis court in the den of his country manor, where he attempts, one by one, to persuade each of his male guests to engage in a shaky financial scheme in order to earn a huge bonus to keep up his lifestyle. Only the over-trusting and gullible Stephen buys into the scheme, but, fortunately, is rescued by his wife's and his good sense before the story is over. Nothing is as it appears, as Charles finds out that his wife's financial situation, which he believed to be unshakable, is a disaster. Cressida, for her part, finds out that her husband has been dallying with his ex-paramour, and Stephen learns that his good friend Patrick is little more than an opportunistic crook. The entire situation blows up into a fracas that is both amusing and satisfying. Wickham's sly and understated British humor is evident throughout the book, as is her excellent writing style. Readers who crave Rosamunde Pilcher with an edge will love Madeleine Wickham's The Tennis Party.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Judy Lawson on September 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm very disappointed to report that this seems to be a reissue of The Tennis Party. I read it years ago and it was a pretty good book, but I don't want to purchase it again! The reviews for both 40 Love and The Tennis Party discuss the main characters Patrick and Caroline Chance, and their residence White House. I doubt I'm putting 2+2 together and getting anything other than 4!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Trotter on August 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I usually enjoy Kinsella/Wickham's novels. I'm relieved to learn from other reviewers that this is just a reissue of her first novel, as otherwise I would be wondering what in the world happened to her writing. Unlikeable characters(with the exception of Stephen, Annie, Georgina and Nicola), filthy language (how many times can you say the "F" word in one sentence), interminable blow-by-blow descriptions of tennis games, and a depressing ending. Thumbs down.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. DeBrock on September 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 once lived on the same road and became friends. Their lives go in different directions, each getting married or breaking up, having children, and enjoying different levels of professional, financial, and personal success. Until one day, one of the couples decides to have all their old neighborhood friends over for a weekend tennis party. Being thrust together once again many discoveries are made and some of the couples' lives are changed dramatically by what was supposed to be an innocent gathering of friends... I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Madeleine Wickham's, just know going into it that this is not her best work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LSW on January 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am a Wickham/Kinsella fan and was very disappointed by this book. Agree with other reviewers - it is not new but a re-issue of The Tennis Party and not nearly as good as some of her more recent work like Remember Me. I expected light and fun with some good laughs thrown in, but this one was just tedious and boring without redemption for anyone at the end - they are all unhappier than when it started. Not what I hope for from my chick lit brain candy! I would not waste my time if I were you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Winston on November 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is by far the worst book by this author I have read - I never give up in the middle of Wickham's books, but this one is a dud. Pass!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DL on June 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
That about sums it up. It's depressing and tedious to read. I dont know why authors feel the need to show they have great talent by writing about the misery and painful challenges of everyday life. We all deal with with those kinds of things in our own lives and I for one read to escape them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heather Hall on January 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read most of Madeleine Wickham/Sophie Kinsella's books and usually love them. I was not thrilled with this one. It was okay, but as an avid fan of her other writing, this one was a disappointment. It was a fast, easy read, as most of her books are. However, the ending left me cold and unsatisfied. If you've read her other books, this one will not be your favorite. I didn't hate it, but I wouldn't read it again. Kinda wishing I had bought it in regular form rather than on my Kindle so I could sell it back.
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