The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

img_3187“If a televised hug could affect an election, weren’t we all just really screwed?”

A gorgeous cover and a wonderful read. The Hopefuls is told from the perspective of Beth Kelly who moves to Washington, DC with her husband where he accepted a job with President Obama’s Inauguration Committee. She struggles to adjust to her new life and to secure work, while her husband, Matt follows his political ambitions. When they meet Jimmy Dillon who also works at the White House, they become inseparable friends with him and his wife, Ash. What unfolds is a recounting of that period in their lives and everything that came along with it.

“Trying to make new friends was like dating – meeting so many new people and feeling them out, trying to find common interests and topics of conversation. It was harder than I thought it would be.”

The Hopefuls provides a really great take on a lot of relatable issues: adjusting to a new city, making new friendships, job struggles, and how all of those things affect a relationship. It also provides a look into a life in politics and the competitive culture that comes along with it. I found this novel to be thoughtfully written as it slowly takes the reader through a distinct period of time, while very effectively conveying not only the atmosphere and emotion of that period, but also the depth of an individual experience. Overall an enjoyable read that gives an interesting look into DC politics and life.

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