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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 5 star ratings
3 reviews
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4.6 out of 5
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    A winner of a book!

    Many thanks to Netgalley, Simon and Schuster and Jo Piazza for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Josh, her campaign manager, asks “Charlotte?…Are you still in this race? I can end it now. You can end it now. It still won’t be pretty, but I promise it will be easier.”…Charlotte made her voice equally low. “I want to stay in.” Charlotte Walsh likes to win. Even when her whole life is crumbling around her, she still needs to win. Why did she decide to do this? Why run for Senate in a state that has never elected a woman. Why give up her high paying, successful career at a Silicon Valley job to join the campaign trail that is full of fast food, driving across the state in a minivan and eighteen hour days smiling and shaking hands? Why did she think with three young children and a strained marriage that this was a great next move. Most importantly, why did she decide to do this when she knew that her secret was pretty much guaranteed to come out and ruin not only her chances, but also her family. Charlotte’s struggle is real. Her marriage has suffered an affair but was it really built on a strong foundation? During one of their fights her husband, Max, tells her that he only married her because he felt sorry for her. In her heart, Charlotte always believed it to be true. When a woman is smart, driven and successful, it seems to have a direct effect onto a man’s ego. Max gets a huge boost of respect and admiration for giving up his career to stay at home and look after their three children. Charlotte takes an enormous amount of heat for abandoning her family to pursue her selfish goal. It is still a crime in this country for a woman to want things for herself. I mean if you want to run a marathon or sell home made crafts on Etsy, you should be fine, but you are not allowed to want the same things men want. Charlotte notes that she still gets the kids ready in the morning while Max goes on a run and she looks after them in the evenings when she gets home at dinner time. This is an age old problem. You can work, but you are still responsible for everything pertaining to home life. I felt that issues women face were made relevant in this book without becoming preachy. It wasn’t thrown in your face, you just got to see what Charlotte was going through and as a character, I not only liked her, but I felt for her. All the characters were flushed out, real, complex and multi dimensional which I appreciated. Politics is a rough game and worse if you are a woman. She gets asked what colour of nail polish she is wearing, wearing flats is making a statement, and everything from her femininity to her parenting skills are called into question. You are simultaneously a “little lady” who can’t get anything done and the biggest current threat to democracy. I guess it could be called timely considering the political climate these days, but I feel like this could have been written any time. That’s what I loved. Politics was the perfect back drop for this story. This was a great read. Exciting, fast paced and an authentic story told in a very real, complex and thoughtful way. It was multi layered, I was involved in the journey and I enjoyed the characters. Once again, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was in the book and I was unprepared for and really shocked when the ending came. It is really abrupt so be forewarned. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like the ending, just not what I expected. I think a lot of people will respond to this book and was a really great read.
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    Great book, quick read.

    I loved the over arching themes of this book and the characters were well developed. Easy and quick read.
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    Political suspense

    Thank you to Simon &Schuster and NetGalley for an e-ARC of Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza in exchange for an honest review. This novel reads like a day-by-day accounting of Charlotte Walsh's campaign for the Pennsylvania Senate seat, starting at 479 days to Election Day. Charlotte is an executive at a high tech company in California when she decides to enter the political ring against Senator Tug Slaughter, an 80-year-old man who has held the seat for 40 years. He is a much-married philanderer who seems unbeatable. She moves with her husband Max and three young daughters to her hometown in Pennsylvania. She soon realizes that she is judged differently because she is a woman: her wardrobe, marriage, family and character are ruthlessly examined and criticized. As the campaign proceeds, secrets become public, her marriage is tested, her stamina is stretched to its limit. This novel gives us a close look at how difficult it is to run for public office, especially for a woman who is a wife, a mother and a self-made successful career woman. The ending of the book is unexpected but really works. This is a fascinating inside look at politics in this day and age. Highly recommended.
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