cover image Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing

Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing

Allison Winn Scotch. Lake Union, $14.95 trade paper (378p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2122-7

Scotch (Between Me and You) charms with this first-rate tale of a woman running for president. When Senator Cleo McDougal decides on a run for the White House, she’s warned that “all sorts of vermin” from her past could rise to the surface. Even so, she’s surprised when her former best friend MaryAnne Newman publishes an op-ed stating, “Cleo McDougal is not a good person” and sharing details about an affair Cleo had with a professor in law school. In a subsequent interview on CNN, she admits to not being a great friend to MaryAnne but cuts off questions about the affair, and the fallout continues to roil. Her campaign manager, Gaby, suggests she choose 10 regrets from her past and repent publicly. Over the course of the narrative, Cleo assembles the list and messily attempts to make amends with people in her life, learning in the process that always looking forward shouldn’t preclude her from accounting for her past. Scotch’s trademark humor and heart are on full display in this expertly plotted and characterized outing. The author’s fans will devour this, and it will win her new readers as well. (Aug.)