By Madeleine Wickham, Thomas Dunne Books, 276 pages

In 40 Love what begins as a weekend of tennis fun for three couples rapidly turns into bad manners, money gained and lost, annoying guests and marital discord; in short, hilarious reading. Author Madeleine Wickham writes the Shopaholic series and is the British queen of perfectly paced, wickedly funny humor. Her three couples encapsulate the economic highs and lows of society, all with secrets to hide and questionable intentions. In a bucolic London suburb they gather for a friendly tennis tournament weekend in the country but tennis ends up being the last thing on everyone’s mind.

This book is the anecdote for holiday stress. Once started, you’ll forget the gifts that need to be bought and errands to be run and will find yourself immersed in the world of the shallow and wannabe rich. Wickham does a wonderful job of setting the scene with her varied cast and quickly drawing the reader into the plot, which is well drawn and will keep you reading to the very last page. This is light fare but her sly insight into human nature will give the reader pause as well as laughter.

Catherine Gilmore