Saturday, September 08, 2012

Book Review: Domestic Affairs by Bridget Siegel

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Weinstein Books (July 31, 2012)

In her first novel, Bridget Siegel has done a fantastic job at showing what the campaign life is all about.  She should know.  She's a veteran of campaigns at the local, state and national levels.

Olivia Greenley, a political fundraiser in her late 20s, is hired by Jacob Harriston, a close friend and a campaign manager, to join Georgia Governor Landon Taylor's presidential campaign.  Taylor was a vice presidential nominee on a previous ticket after a failed run for the presidency.  Does that remind you of anyone?

As a candidate, Gov. Taylor is committed to social equality and economic responsibility.  While he reminds readers of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, this book is less an Edwards tell-all than it is the goings on with fundraising for political campaigns.

Taylor has the picturesque marriage.  He's married to Aubrey, the former Miss Georgia, and has two kids, Margaret and Dixon.  He's a loving father but not so much a loving husband.  They briefly separated before his first presidential campaign only to come back together to sell the big picture.  On camera, Aubrey is one thing.  Behind the scenes, she's not the same person.  Landon Taylor isn't even in love with her any more.

Readers get to meet the crazy characters that serve as fundraisers.  Two of them, Yanni and Alek, get the most page time than others.

Describing Domestic Affairs as Primary Colors meets The Devil Wears Prada would be a fair assessment.  Although instead of Anne Hathaway, I kept picturing Scarlett Johansson in the role of Olivia Greenley although Kristen Bell could easily fit the character.  After all, Olivia is described as 10 inches shorter than Gov. Taylor.

The ending didn't surprise me.  It works though.  While not quite a cliffhanger, it does leave it open to the reader to believe what could happen next.

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