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Book Review: Domestic Affairs by Bridget Siegel

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Domestic Affairs by Bridget Siegel is a novel about a twenty-something political fundraiser who gets involved romantically with the presidential candidate whose campaign she is raising money for. The fundraiser, Olivia Greenley, is recruited to work for Landon Taylor, who is running for president of the United States.

While Greenley has the expertise to get the job done, she gets herself off track by falling for the candidate. The two end up having an affair. Taylor is married and has children. His wife is portrayed as not a very nice person who makes big demands and speaks critically to those around her husband’s campaign. Um, wonder what that sounds like, possibly the John Edwards presidential campaign.

The candidate is a Democrat, and at the beginning of the book, he is gaining ground over his Republican opponent, and his campaign is gaining steam. Taylor is from Georgia and has many characteristics of John Edwards: he is charming, good looking and has a southern accent.

One of the keys to changing Taylor’s mood during his campaigning is the pretty girl factor. If a pretty woman is interested in what Taylor was saying, his mood lifts, fewer people get yelled at and he even stays on schedule. Greenley’s friend, Jacob Harriston, was brought her on board as the pretty girl.

The story takes all of these characters and more on the road to the White House. The book doesn’t say if this candidate gets there because both Greenley and Harriston leave the campaign before it reaches its goal.

Greenley starts out thinking she is working on a campaign for a candidate who she truly believes could make a real difference in the world. She falls in love, falls out of love and moves onto the next potential candidate with as the author writes, offers “Hope and Change.”

It’s an okay book. There is romance and a ponzi-like scheme but no deep drama, deep conflict or real suspense. There are some insights into what potentially is the reality of what happens on real life political campaigns and fundraising.

It would be a better book if the events weren’t so close to what happened in the Edwards’ campaign, which ruined numerous lives in the real world. In the fictional world offered by the author, everyone moves on and nobody is hurt.

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