From Publishers Weekly
Brown (Floodmakers) returns with another excellent ensemble character study, this one focusing on a group of friends and lovers radiating out from former tennis doubles partners Slow and Kaz. Slow holds himself responsible for the car accident hat put his wife, Anne, in a coma, and has since hung up his racket. After months of stopgap clerical work and depression, he is rescued by his eccentric and charismatic coach, Manny, who is trying to force Slow into a reunion with his former tennis partner, Kaz. So begins an ill-fated trip to New York, where Slow contemplates returning to the game and learns heartbreaking truths about his wife, his friends, and himself. The story has far more to say about love than tennis, but it ponders a changing sport as it transitions from the world of the impeccably mannered Arthur Ashe to bad boy Andre Agassi with the same care that it examines the inner life of its characters. The result is that rare sports novel with big heart and wide appeal.
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Tennis player Slow Smith is either wallowing in self-pity or mourning the virtual loss of his wife, who is in a coma after a car accident. Slow—so named for his excruciatingly deliberate service routine—was half of a successful professional doubles team that won the U.S. Open at Forest Hills six times. Old coach Manny arrives at Slow’s house uninvited, and the pair head to Forest Hills where they will meet up with Slow’s longtime doubles partner, Kaz. Life has continued for Kaz since the accident; he’s playing with a new partner. But the former partners are still connected, if not as tightly as before. Back in the familiar tennis world, Slow and Kaz attempt to reconnect, both professionally and personally, but things have changed. Slow is different. Of course he is: his wife’s in a coma, and he blames himself for the accident. The past is his milieu; Kaz is moving forward. Brown’s sometimes funny, often melancholy, always thoughtful novel is less about sports and more about relationships and their evolution. --Wes Lukowsky