Charlier’s (Putt for Show, 2013) sequel offers a contemporary tale about life, love and golf.
Fifty-five-year-old USGA Women’s Senior Amateur tournament winner Lena Bettencourt has for the last few years been CEO of The Perfect Tee, a Seattle-based business that sells women’s golf clothing online. As the novel opens, a clever hacker has been wreaking havoc on the company by harvesting customers’ financial information. Meanwhile, Lena’s on the verge of releasing a revolutionary new golf ball that can be detected electronically—no more searching the woods and shrubbery for expensive balls. At the same time, she’s trying to choose between two men: the calm, sensitive Kim or her former flame, the slightly rakish author and editor Ryne. She also weathers difficulties with her own employees (one of whom might be a traitor) as well as conflicts with the golf-ball developers. On top of these trials, she’s dealing with the inescapable fact that she’s not a young woman anymore; she’s sometimes saddened to realize that “all of the people she ever cared about…were suffering the same fate she was feeling so acutely—the loss of youth, the slow destruction of aging.” However, such dire thoughts hardly impinge on Charlier’s lively, friendly story. The author’s ear for dialogue is excellent—“That is why I didn’t ask if you loved me. I asked if we could share some kitchen space”—as is her skill at portraying the complexities of multifaceted adult relationships. The novel’s most refreshing aspect is that Lena is neither young nor stupid but rather a middle-aged woman of believable fallibility—a very unconventional female protagonist in today’s book world. The book’s golfing trivia and Charlier’s ability to convey the sport’s drama and suspense are added bonuses for golf enthusiasts.
A fresh novel of sports and corporate intrigue, with a dash of romance thrown in.