The Hopefuls

The Hopefuls

Book - 2016
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6
"A brilliantly funny novel about ambition and marriage from the best selling author of Girls in White Dresses, The Better Half tells the story of a young wife who follows her husband and his political dreams to D.C., a city of idealism, gossip, and complicated friendships among young Washington's aspiring elite. When Beth arrives in Washington, D.C., she hates everything about it: the confusing traffic circles, the ubiquitous Ann Taylor suits, the humidity that descends each summer. At dinner parties, guests compare their security clearance levels. They leave their BlackBerrys on the table. They speak in acronyms. And once they realize Beth doesn't work in politics, they smile blandly and turn away. Soon Beth and her husband, Matt, meet a charismatic White House staffer named Jimmy and his wife, Ashleigh, and the four become inseparable, coordinating brunch, birthdays, and long weekends away. But as Jimmy's star rises higher and higher, their friendship--and Beth's relationship with Matt--is threatened by jealousy, competition and rumors. A glorious send-up of young D.C. and a blazingly honest portrait of a marriage, this is the finest work yet by one of our most beloved writers."
"Laced with sly humor and insider detail, Jennifer Close's new novel tells the story of a young wife who follows her husband and his political dreams to DC, a city of idealism, ambition and complicated friendships among young Washington's aspiring elite"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781101875612
1101875615
Branch Call Number: FICTION CLOSE...J
Characteristics: 303 pages

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iloveseaotters
Jun 23, 2019

I honestly didn't think I would like this book at all but, like most books on my to-read list, I added it because it sounded interesting. It took me a while to read it (almost a month, which for me is a long time), but there was just something about it that kept me reading. It only took a few pages for me to like Beth. I mean I really liked her. She was someone that I could see myself being best friends with.
The plot is hard to describe when you're in the middle of this book, but once I neared the end, it became more and more clear what Ms Close was trying to convey. I should have known that I was coming to the end when I felt my eyes filling with tears as I eagerly read to the end to find out the fates of the four main characters.
The book itself has some hilarious moments and some entertaining ones as well. By the time I got to the end I was struck by how emotional I'd become and how painfully realistic it was. But I'm pretty sure that my emotional state was due to the fact that I knew I was going to have to leave Beth, Matt, Jimmy and Viv. I liked them all for different reasons, although none of them are perfect in the least. I'm not much of a political person and I found myself drawn to Beth because it felt like we were similar in a lot of ways. I love that a large portion of this book takes place in Texas and if I didn't know any better I'd say that Ms. Close is from Texas (like me, born and raised) the way she named off so many towns (even ones I didn't know and I lived in Texas for 28 years!) and places in the Lone Star State.
That being said, I should point out that "The Hopefuls" is a "blue" book, meaning that the basic plot revolves around democratic politics and the events surrounding Obama's campaign for re-election in a very clever way. So if you are someone who doesn't like the politicians mentioned in this book, or you are a "red" person, you probably won't like "The Hopefuls" as much as I did. But after reading the whole book I realized that yes, the book is about two politicians and their wives, but it's more about relationships between husbands/wives and friendships.
The book is wrapped up nicely, but I honestly wish (and hope) that there will be another book featuring at least Matt and Beth (the two main characters; the book is told in Beth's point of view), because I'd love to read more about their lives. I'd even settle for a movie version of "The Hopefuls" although I know that it would never be as good as the book.
Now after all of this gushing I probably should have given it a five star rating, but I'm deducting one star for the amount of swearing that was intertwined throughout the pages.
Pretty much all of it was unnecessary, and sometimes it took away from the story itself. I think I would have enjoyed it more without seeing the showers of "F" and "S" words on every third or fourth page.

t
terryginz
May 20, 2019

All the characters are so plain and there was no depth to them. I just couldn't get into the story. In fact I'm not even sure what the story was. But I kept on reading with the hope that this would turn out to be great may be from the middle or even towards the end. Nope, nothing of the sort happened. I think the author was going for one thing but lost her hope towards that plot and she gave us this.

k
KatG1983
Mar 17, 2017

fun read for anyone who is into politics (or The West Wing - even though the author did make an error when referencing West Wing characters). I enjoyed reading this book, and thought it was an interesting examination of relationships (both romantic and friendships).

t
TerryAB
Oct 13, 2016

What a book to read during election time! I think that those who felt that it was light-weight may have missed some of the more intriguing pieces. That whole Texas experience was both funny and sad.

ehbooklover Oct 08, 2016

A light-ish "beach read" that is basically an examination of a young couple's own relationship and their ultimately toxic friendship with another couple. All of this comes with a side of American politics. While I found many of the character's choices and behaviours to be frustrating, I didn't want to stop reading and finished the book in just a couple of days. I especially liked it when the book was set in Washington DC as I have spent a lot of time there and recognized many of the places mentioned.

m
msp_pier
Sep 07, 2016

the hopefuls is about Beth and Matt who move to DC so Matt can pursue his political career.

while there, they meet and become friends with Jimmy and Ash.

what follows is a look at the relationships between these two couples as both Matt and Jimmy try to make a name for themselves in DC and what happens when their lives become intertwined.

i was a bit disappointed in this book. throughout the whole book, you're waiting for something to happen, there's this gradual buildup, but it's kind of anti-climatic, in my opinion.

also, Beth's character is really hard to like. she seems pretty immature and judgmental throughout the whole book, that it's hard to feel bad for her.

it was boring in parts, but overall it was an ok read.

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