In her sixth book entitled The Singles Game which was published in 2016, Lauren Weisberger, who also wrote The Devil Wears Prada, leaves the fashion world and focuses on the lesser known but as fascinating lives of female tennis stars. The recipe is still the same : scandals, low blows and glamour in a very entertaining and absorbing novel.
Charlotte Silver is a professional tennis player like many others. She travels a lot for tournaments and she has reached an honourable level. But, one day, in the middle of a match at Wimbledon, she gets injured so seriously that many people think her career over for good. Yet, she does not give up and decides to hire a well-known coach in order to become a “war machine” and reach the top of the world’s ranking. Lauren Weisberger’s latest book, The Singles Game, tells her adventures in the upper reaches of WTA (i.e. Women Tennis Association).
But, tennis is obviously only a pretext in the novel. The author deals more with the young champion’s mood than with her sporting achievements. There is only a few match scenes and the readers feel that the main characters spends more time sleeping (with men) in luxury hotel rooms than on tennis courts. In fact, the main subject matter is the same as in Lauren Weisberger’s previous books ; that is to say, the best way for a young woman to juggle work and private live and to have healthy friendships and romantic relationships. Besides, the outline resembles that of The Devil Wears Prada. The readers discover the fate of a naive young woman enters a lawless world and finds herself trapped in a downward spiral that ends with a sort of electric shock which allows her to return to her values and be really happy.
So, even the readers who do not know anything about sport get caught up in the story Lauren Weisberger tells in her inimitably simple and straightforward style. So, we read this novel straight through and with as much (guilty) pleasure as we flick through gossips in tabloids.
Anyhow, one thing is sure : now that we read The Singles Games, we won’t fall asleep as easily as we did before while watching The French Open or Wimbledon on TV next summer.
The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger, published in the United States of America in June 2016 by Simon and Schuster Inc. (352 pages, $17), and in France in November 2016 by Fleuve Editions (456 pages, €23.90).