Have you ever read a book you loved so much that when you reached the end you wished you could start all over again? That’s exactly the way I felt when I finished reading The Tennis Player from Bermuda, written by Bermudian author, Fiona Hodgkin.
I picked up the book after a copy was sent to our office, because truthfully, there’s nothing more appealing to me than an unopened brand-new book. At first I thought it was a biography and wasn’t expecting to get as engrossed as I did but from the first page I was hooked and I spent the weekend on the couch, stationary, hanging on every word I read.
It’s rare I find a book so enticing. I do read a lot and most books I read I like but it’s not often that I find a book that I actually can’t put down but The Tennis Player from Bermuda is one. It’s the fictional story set in 1960s Bermuda about a young Bermudian woman who sets her sights on playing Wimbledon. Of course, back then, Bermuda was a very different place and the author does an incredible job of painting the picture of vintage Bermuda for those of us who didn’t grow up in that era. Indeed Hodgkin is an incredible author. At no time does this story feel home-spun. The Tennis Player from Bermuda stands on its own as a strong publication with an incredible story line, well-developed characters and written by a very talented author.
Also different during that time was Wimbledon. 50 years ago the competitors at Wimbledon were amateurs and the winners received very little money. For the players, it was all about the love of the game and the honor of being crowned the champion. As we follow Fiona, the main character, in her journey to Wimbledon, we see her caught up in a heart-breaking love affair that would tempt even the most dedicated to pack it up and return home but Fiona’s bravery and strength is what is most compelling about this novel. Of course back then, women were expected to be seen more than heard but Fiona’s genuine gumption is unparallelled, even by most girls today.
I’m hanging onto my copy of the book, waiting for just enough time to go by until I can read it again. For those of you yet to read it, I envy you because seriously, if you only read one book this year, it has to be The Tennis Player from Bermuda!
The book is not yet sold in local bookstores but you can order a copy of The Tennis Player from Bermuda HERE for only $10.95.