Rachel to the Rescue

Elinor Lipman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $15.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-358-65325-7

Lipman (Good Riddance) takes a satirical, strange, and erratic ramble through the Trump presidency. In Washington, D.C., 20-something Rachel Klein, daughter of doting, paint store–owning parents, lands a job in records management at the White House, which consists mainly of taping back together memos ripped up by Trump, the “shredder-in-chief.” An email Rachel sends complaining about the president gets her fired. Then she’s hit by a car, and while recovering in the hospital, she learns from a BuzzFeed article that the driver was Veronica Hyde-White, Trump’s optometrist. Rachel then takes a job doing research for “muckraker” author Kirby Champion, who is writing a book about Trump, and learns about a bizarre love quadrangle involving Veronica; Veronica’s husband, Simon; Simon’s real estate agent lover; and the president. The light, playful tone makes for an odd juxtaposition with the political satire (“It was bad enough getting knocked unconscious by a speeding car, but why did it have to be driven by a woman who was having sex with the president of the United States?”). Readers may get a kick out of the wild romp, but those for whom the Trump term felt darker than fodder for frothy fiction may want to look elsewhere. (July)
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