Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Hopefuls

I have no Election Day insights or commentary to offer.  

How about a mini-review of a novel about politics?  I've read and enjoyed all of Jennifer Close's novels, and The Hopefuls is her best yet.  I appreciated the glimpses into the political and social scenes in Washington, D.C. and Texas.  The novel also portrays the strategy and extraordinary effort required by campaigns and the toll that such takes on personal relationships.  Close humorously (but seemingly accurately?) captures the jockeying and posturing for power and position (and access to people in positions of power) engaged in by D.C.'s twentysomethings. 

My favorite aspect of The Hopefuls is Close's depiction of the fragility/resilience of marriage and of the sometimes fleeting (but not necessarily less real for being so) nature of friendship.  I think book clubs would have plenty to talk about with this one, especially with the relationships portrayed, but you'd have to consider whether you'd like to open the door to a possible political discussion at your book club meeting. 

This book cover is my favorite of 2016 so far.  I vote you read it. 


  1. I really enjoyed this one - especially her skewering of douchey DC politicos. This is the first Close I've read...what were some her others you liked?

  2. In "douchey DC politicos," you found the perfect phrase that eluded me! She has two previous novels, Girls in White Dresses and The Smart One. I'd give a slight edge to The Smart One. Both are enjoyable, but neither measures up to The Hopefuls.