This may not be an election year for most of us, but why not spend this November on the campaign trail with our new FFL Book Club pick—The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close. This book is perfect for fans of Girls in White Dresses, political hopefuls, young women trying to find their voice, and people who are obsessed with the inner workings of D.C. 

Beth and Matt are a young married couple who move to D.C. for Matt to work in the Obama White House. If you’ve ever met someone who worked in the Obama White House, you know this quickly becomes their entire personality. But Beth is not a political person, and so she’s not exactly a fan of Washington, D.C. Her whip-smart commentary on the city’s flaws and the narcissism of political operatives is cackling relatable for anyone who has lived in the city. But then Beth meets the Dillons–Jimmy and Ash, two Texans who quickly become the couples’ best friends. But both Jimmy and Matt have aspirations of holding office…and when one of them needs the other to run his campaign, tensions get dangerously high for everyone.  Can the couples make it through the campaign intact? What will be standing on the other side? 

Chicago Review of Books called it,  “A much lighter, funnier version of House of Cards—imagine the jealousy and ambition of the Underwoods married with the humor of a sitcom like New Girl with its focus on friendships and playing at adulthood.”

This book is the contemporary novel every D.C. woman wants to read—it’s relatable, humorous, not too genre-filled in either direction, and will remind you of at least three different people you know or have met at networking events.  It’s good because it’s inspired by the author’s own experience–she moved from Chicago to D.C. with her husband who worked in the Obama White House, and her eye for the real coupled with fictionalized aspects of friendship and marriage make this a great read, even if you’re not married. 

BookRiot wrote of this novel, “If you love and miss The West Wing, this is one book you’ll want to pick up. Jennifer Close gets so many things about D.C. and its culture so very right…She also knows political campaigns inside out—the bad and the ugly as well as the good.”

I cannot agree enough. As a resident of DC who has dated people working on campaigns, this book felt personal, realized, and a bit too funny at times. If you’ve got your heart set on DC, this book is a must-read.  Fans of Close’s other work, including Girls in White Dresses, will love what she does in this one. 

We are excited to read this campaign-filled book with you during this off-cycle election November, and look forward to hearing what you think about it throughout the month! Be sure to join our private Facebook group to join in on the discussion all month long. Official discussion questions kick off on November 15th, but we’d love to discuss books with you all month long. 

You can get your copy of The Hopefuls wherever books are sold. 

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member