Aimee Gresti • Graydon House • May 22, 2018 • 384 Pages
Campaign Widows almost needs two different summaries, since it’s basically two different stories shoved together.
The first 100+ pages of the book give a glimpse of a wild election season in Washington, DC—all told in fast-paced Newsroom-style vignettes from the viewpoints of different groups of people.
- Rocky Haze is a wildly popular hiphop singer who’s surprised everyone by becoming a frontrunner in the presidential election.
- Hank Goodfellow is a billionaire philanthropist who’s decided the presidency is his next ungettable get (and his wife, Madison, isn’t too happy about it).
- Birdie Brandywine is a party planner for the DC political elite, but, as fabulous as she is, she really just wants to get over her hotshot husband’s affair.
- Reagan is a speech writer turned mommy blogger trying to balance work and parenthood while her husband runs the current Vice President’s presidential campaign.
- Jay is an editor at a popular, local entertainment magazine, and is thrust into the middle of election drama when his boyfriend starts covering Rocky Haze’s campaign from the campaign trail.
- Finally, Cady Davenport is a young, up-and-coming news reporter who just moved to DC for her boyfriend and is aching to report on something more important than the inconsequential fluff her boss forces her to cover.
Confused yet? Me, too. And those are just the main players, yikes. Honestly, I was 120 pages into Campaign Widows before I even fully knew who every character was—especially since, btw, each of these characters has a boyfriend, wife, lover, child, or sidekick (etc.) to keep track of, too. It’s insanity.
The good news is that after those first 150 pages, the book changes and focuses almost exclusively on Cady. Her relationship issues with her new fiance, Jackson, as well as an unexpected love interest, Parker, take center stage. The other characters essentially exist to support her drama, but their romantic relationships are explored, as well. The book takes on a lighter tone at this point and becomes a lot more fun. Even though the switch is a little abrupt, because it makes the story exponentially easier to follow, I didn’t mind.
Ultimately, I enjoyed Campaign Widows and would recommend it to readers looking for a light read with a touch of substance. Just prepare yourself for a slow start and a little character confusion, but know that the last two thirds of the book will make up for it.
Big thanks to Graydon House and Amazon Vine for the Advanced Reader Copy!