Monday, May 20, 2013

Domestic Affairs by Bridget Siegel

When twenty-something political fundraiser Olivia Greenley is recruited by her close friend Jacob Harriston to join the Presidential campaign of Georgia Governor Landon Taylor, she is intoxicated by optimism and opportunity. Taylor’s commitment to social equality and economic responsibility in the post-housing-bubble era is palpable. Sacrificing her sleep, comfort and income are certain to help make the world a better place. Right? 

Domestic Affairs: A Campaign Novel vividly captures the fervor and idealism of campaign life—as well as the disillusionment staffers feel when told to make the inevitable compromises. Leaving a meeting with foreclosure victims to hop onto a private jet is one thing, but how to justify dining at a $2,000-a-plate dinner knowing how many lunches the money could buy for at-risk kids? How far does one go when the ends appear to justify the means? And what’s a girl to do when the most charming, erudite, capable and ostensibly honorable man in the free world wants to take her to bed (but he’s married and her boss)? How does it feel to keep the biggest secret of her life from her best friend and coworker, even as the three of them spend every waking hour together? The tension between characters, right and wrong, and between success and implosion are taut.

Domestic Affairs isn't my normal cup of tea simply because I don't like to read stories steeped in politics.  But, the synopsis sounded promising and I thought I'd give it a go.  I have to be honest and say I was pleasantly surprised on how well I enjoyed Domestic Affairs.  Siegel has a brilliant way of writing that kept me entranced with the story. 

The three main characters, Olivia, Jacob and Landon aren't by any means complex characters.  I liked them, but I didn't love them.  It's the plot, the suspense and why people do what they do that kept me riveted.  I soon found myself reluctant to put the book aside for other important things, like sleep.  I enjoyed getting a closer look at how a campaign runs.  Again, I didn't love the characters, but I wanted to know what motivates them to do what they do - it's amazing, really.  If you enjoy romance, suspense and a splash of politics, pick up Domestic Affairs! 

Bridget Siegel, author of Domestic Affairs: A Campaign Novel, has worked on political campaigns at the local, state, and national levels. A graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, she is now an actor, writer, and political consultant. She lives in New York City.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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