Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review.
Today we’re looking at much lighter fare than the other day. It’s the only way to stay sane, yes?
I spent many evenings over the past month bingeing all episodes of Veep. My husband and I both work in government communications and laughed ourselves stupid watching this genius show.
We’d just finished when Jennifer Close’s The Hopefuls showed up at the door.
The Hopefuls is the story of Beth and Matt, new transplants to DC from New York. Matt plans to run for office one day and is getting valuable experience working in the Obama administration. Beth has recently lost her job at Vanity Fair and has moved to DC to support Matt, while also trying to figure out her own next steps. Soon they become close friends with Texas-transplants, Jimmy and Ashleigh Dillon. Jimmy works in the White House with Matt and Ash isn’t currently working either and the two couples are soon very, very close.
But as Jimmy’s political star starts to rise and Matt’s falters, their friendships take a hit.
I started giggling reading the first page of this book. And I didn’t really stop laughing for most of it. Beth is telling the story from their arrival in DC back in 2009 through to the present day. It feels like you’ve met your friend for dinner, and you haven’t seen each other for a while and she has a story to tell you! Close manages to maintain this intimacy the whole way through. The characters feel so real, totally like people you know/used to know.
The first half of the book feels really gossipy too – in the way that I love. In the way that made me think that it could be this summer’s answer to The Royal We and Crazy Rich Asians.
But this book isn’t just frivolous, guilty-pleasure fun. As Jimmy becomes more and more visible and Matt’s work isn’t noticed at the same level, Beth worries about her marriage and her friendship with Ash. Ash is really the only friend she has made in DC, the one person that made living there bearable in the first place and now there is a strain on that friendship.
I was completely addicted to The Hopefuls. It was wryly observed, funny, absorbing and ultimately didn’t make me feel like I’d overdosed on something grossly sweet. Recommend for beach totes everywhere.