Reviews

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A Silicon Valley executive campaigns to be Pennsylvania's first female senator while trying to hold her marriage together in Piazza's (co-author: Fitness Junkie, 2017, etc.) latest novel, set in a post-2016 political climate.Charlotte Walsh, COO of one of the fastest-growing companies in the world, is running for senator in Pennsylvania. She's moved her family of five to the town where she and her husband grew up, Elk Hollow, where the struggling working-class economy is a world away from the luxury of their West Coast lives. Class becomes an issue. "Don't say the word sabbatical," her blunt, single-minded campaign manager interrupts her at their first meeting. "You sound elitist." But gender becomes, predictably, the true crux of the campaign. A collapse sparks pregnancy rumors, Charlotte's shoe choice becomes a major headline, and an offensive, sexist comment from a rival is accidentally spoken into a microphone. All of this plays out the way it wouldand hasplayed out today. We see glimpses of what the public thinks of Charlotte through several fragments of "real" texts: an EMILY's List endorsement, an MSNBC interview transcript, and several think pieces and Twitter threads. A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article explains helpfully that Pennsylvania has never elected a female governor or U.S. senator. Mostly, however, these texts are asides and attempts at verisimilitude that add no depth to the fast-paced plot. As Election Day nears, marked in a countdown at the beginning of each chapter, Charlotte's marriage frays. Secrets are hinted at but not fully revealed to the reader until quite late. By then, they can only disappoint. There are, however, a few scenes and figures that resonate. Notably, Charlotte's mentor, a retired female senator, has a complex and nuanced story arc. But mostly the tone is just short of satire and takes aim at everything.A novel that asks whether a woman can "have it all" but that never even approaches an answer. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

As the title suggests, Charlotte Walsh is only looking for one outcome in her campaign for a U.S.Senate seat in her native Pennsylvania. The daughter of a garbage collector, she left her humble roots for Silicon Valley, first finding fame as a rare female COO, then as the author of the Lean In-esque Let's Fix It. Propelled by the success of her book and by the 2016 election Charlotte moves her husband, Max, and their three children to rural Elk Hollow, where she jumps headfirst into the Senate race. Max is chafing at his new role as stay-at-home dad, and Charlotte's wastrel brother, Paul, threatens trouble, in spite of the intervention of his wife, salt-of-the-earth Kiki. Charlotte is confident, despite the dirty campaign of the incumbent, serial philanderer Ted Tug Slaughter, but the political reality is a little less certain. As in her books cowritten with Lucy Sykes (Fitness Junkie, 2017), Piazza pulls from pop-culture trends to craft fun, fast-paced women's fiction. Charlotte is not as perfect as she thinks she is, but readers will be entertained by this au courant beach read.--Maguire, Susan Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Meet Charlotte Walsh, a high-powered executive with three daughters and the perfect husband. After conquering Silicon Valley, she decides to bring her family home to rural Pennsylvania to run for Senate against the highly sexist and disreputable incumbent. But once the campaign begins, cracks in Charlotte's perfect life appear. While contending with her opponent's mudslinging, she is blindsided by harsh press coverage about everything from her shoes to her mothering skills. As the campaign gains national attention, closely guarded secrets about Charlotte's marriage are exposed. She must ask herself how badly she wants to win and if victory is worth the cost. Piazza's (coauthor, The Knockoff) contemporary representation of what women go through to become successful politicians is both insightful and honest. Rooted in current events, the plot precisely captures the modern political environment. It's easy to empathize with and cheer for this likable heroine. VERDICT Though the narrative gets off to a slow start, once the campaign heats up, readers will read eagerly until the last page. Highly recommended for fans of Lauren Weisberger. [See Prepub Alert, 1/22/18.]-Kristen Calvert, Marion Cty. P.L. Syst., Belleview, FL Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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