Want a timely and fun summer read? Look no further, The Hopefuls is for you! I really enjoyed this dip into the political world with some great relatable characters. Close tackles relationships, marriage, career aspirations, and jealousy while also keeping a lightness that makes this a great beach read.
The story follows Beth a young writer married to Matt, a man with political aspirations. She leaves New York to live in D.C. with Matt while he works on the 2008 Obama campaign. Beth hates D.C. but she puts up with the elitest attitudes and traffic for Matt. Soon they meet another couple, Jimmy and Ashleigh and become fast friends. Jimmy and Matt have similar aspirations, but Jimmy has a charisma that quickly puts him far ahead of Matt.
As Matt struggles with jealousy, Beth feels more and more isolated in her marriage. She clings to her friendship with Ashleigh but soon she realizes that she may not be the person she thinks she is. The suspense builds in both politics and relationships until it reaches a fever pitch for all parties.
I loved that Close was able to exhibit jealousy between men with such honesty. That trait is majority seen in women, it’s nice to see it exhibited in the other gender for a change. Both Beth and Ashleigh are lacking in career aspirations, which is fine but it was sad to see them hang on their husband’s dreams. I also wasn’t completely on board with the ending, but it did seem realistic just not particularly satisfying. Overall I enjoyed this story though, it provides a great look inside of “entry-level’ political scene and the sacrifices that come with it.