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Book Review: Capitol Hell – Alicia M. Long & Jayne J. Jones

Donna Brown662 views
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About Capitol Hell (2012)
Capitol HellWhen recent college graduate Allison Amundson, a small town girl from South Dakota, lands the highly sought-after job of scheduler to the newly-elected and rising star of the United States Senate, Senator Anders McDermott III, she initially thinks she is on the fast track to success. However, she quickly learns that crazy co-workers, a high maintenance boss, the boss’s over-the-top demanding family, and an unexpected Presidential bid make Capitol Hill seem even more dysfunctional than it looks on TV. In fact, it is Capitol Hell.

This off-beat, hilarious novel captures what it is like to work in the United States Senate. Find out how it feels to be a hot young staffer on Capitol Hill when you step into Allison’s hot pink high heels, and catch a glimpse of what life is really like ”inside the beltway.”

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Review: Capitol Hell

Earlier this year I read The List and enjoyed it immensely (read my review of The List here) but it wasn’t the political drama I’d expected. Capitol Hell offered the politics, along with a dash of humour and a glimpse in the life of staffers on the campaign trail.

I mean, really, it makes you tired just thinking about that life…!

I really enjoyed this read for so many reasons. It was funny, insightful, interesting, but most of all, the personal experience of the authors clearly added a level of authenticity to the story.

There was one aspect I didn’t like and unfortunately it made a big impact. Despite being a story set deeply in the world of politics, it cleverly avoids many political issues, making it a great read, whichever side of the fence you sit. Or – if like me – you don’t even live in the US. However, there was one point in the book where I felt a very, very clear statement was being made about ‘so-called’ asylum seekers versus the deserving. That’s a heavy issue for a book like this. It felt stilted and out of context and almost like it was there because it was too good an opportunity to miss making the point.

I did finish the book, although I debated leaving it. I wanted to see if perhaps these judgments would come back to haunt the characters. They didn’t, and that sense of the square peg being pushed into a round hole really had jarred me out of the story and my enjoyment of it. There are some books that cover the big issues and they do it beautifully or brutally. When it’s done clumsily, it makes it ever so hard to forgive because it does neither the book nor the issue justice.

I have to be fair and say that without this issue, this could have been a four star read. But I also have to be honest that for me, after that, it could only have been a three. Not because I have a political agenda or because I don’t expect anyone else to have one. Just because I expect its delivery to be better executed.

Verdict: 3/5

(Book source: E-Copy from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review)

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Donna Brown
Avid reader/audiobook listener, fan of podcasts, prone to the odd Netflix binge. Mum to six crazy and incredible rescue cats. Occasional writer of short stories and poetry.

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