Book Review: The Hopefuls

How many books have we read that take place in NYC?  The ones that name drop popular bars and restaurants, making city life seem so glamorous.  It’s about time somebody did that for DC, a city filled with nearly as much youth and excitement.

After living it up in Manhattan, Beth moves with her husband, Matt, to DC so he can take on his lifelong dream of running for office.  She hates it.  The grocery stores are awful, the people look down on her for working outside the political world, and she now has to see her in-laws far more often than she’d like.  But then they meet Jimmy and Ash Dillon and a best friendship is born.  The couples do everything together and have a standing Friday night double date.

Matt was always the star of the family, the Harvard educated son who is not so discretely favorited by his mother.  But in Washington, it’s Jimmy’s star that’s on the rise.  Keeping up with the Dillons puts a strain on both the friendship and their marriage.

I like how this story was told as a retrospective.  It made Beth seem more at peace as a narrator and made me overlook how the couple overcame some issues in their marriage I would have thought insurmountable.  I also like that it seemed to accurately depict strain in a marriage – for both couples – and the happy faces we all put on, without coming off as overly dramatic.  That part made me overlook how they tried to perfectly tie up the word hope in the last sentence of the novel to make the book’s title relevant.

3.5 out of 5 stars

PS – She’s a small character, but everyone should have a best friend like Colleen.

the hopefuls