Domestic Affairs

Bridget Siegel. Weinstein (Hachette, dist.), $24 (320p) ISBN 978-1-60286-164-0
Siegel's vapid debut recounts the travails of 27-year-old Olivia Greenley, political finance manager extraordinaire and dewy-eyed pushover, as she navigates the potholes of the campaign trail. Olivia's the latest addition to the presidential campaign team of Landon Taylor, the charismatic governor of Georgia, thanks to his manager and Olivia's best friend, Jacob Harriston. Once she lands the job, Olivia spends her time wishing she were better dressed, inwardly crowing about finally having made it to the "cool table in the cafeteria," and mooning over the governor, who oozes Clintonesque cool and the convicted idealism of Martin Luther King, Jr. (at least from Olivia's overworked, underpaid, and naive perspective). The book presents a gossipy insider's view of a political campaign—Siegel has worked on those of Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and Andrew Cuomo—but far too many pages are devoted to empty descriptions of fancy restaurants (e.g., "the velvet chicken…literally tasted like velvet in food form. Delicious food form."), mansions, and private planes, as well as political fundraisers, which are as tedious to read about as they must be to attend. These accounts stand in for a plot until three quarters of the way through the novel, by which point discerning readers will have long since spied the end of the trail. It's an old tale, and not particularly fresh in this telling. (July)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-60286-169-5
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-1-60286-200-5
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