A political novel documents both the cynical lows and romantic highs of campaign life in America, as experienced by two reporters.
Kuhn’s first novel begins with a dizzying account of how dark the jockeying for public office has become and, just as grimly, how political journalism parallels this amoral ambition. Taylor Solomon is an ace reporter for the Washington Current, an up-and-coming news site that specializes in quick sensationalist scoops, prioritizing Web page views over serious coverage. Cait Ellis is a campaign reporter for the venerable New York Times and the daughter of one of the country’s most heralded reporters. As Cait and Taylor struggle with the inevitable onslaught of disenchantment their profession engenders, they take solace in each other’s company. Eventually, albeit predictably, their shared professional confidence snowballs into genuine romance, threatened by Cait’s doubts about true love—“That life could be that way.” Meanwhile, political intrigue abounds. Cait scores a big interview with Joseph Esperanza Girona, the leading contender for the Democratic National Convention’s presidential nominee; alone in his hotel room—during an interview—he makes an unabashed pass at her. She chooses not to make Girona’s indiscretion into a news item, but the story slowly threatens to find the light of day, imperiling Girona’s campaign, Cait’s career, and maybe her chances with Taylor. Much of the narrative is propelled by quick, witty prose that sometimes flirts with an insider’s knowing, self-indulgent air. However, the multiple storylines unfurl briskly, painting an astute if depressing view of American politics. Yet the book’s cynicism is balanced by a genuinely tender love story that demonstrates how hope can bloom in even the most inhospitable places.
Insightful political commentary that will keep readers immersed.