Continuing in my backlogged book review blast before the month comes to an end…
I received a free copy of Jo Piazza’s new novel CHARLOTTE WALSH LIKES TO WIN from Simon Books. I was excited from the get-go to dig into this novel because as a self-proclaimed feminist, and lover of women’s fiction this book ticked all my YAAASSS boxes!
This is my first novel from Jo Piazza.
Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win by Jo Piazza
Overview – Spoiler Alert: Low
Charlotte Walsh is running for Senate in the most important race in the country during a midterm election that will decide the balance of power in Congress. Still reeling from a presidential election that shocked and divided the country and inspired by the chance to make a difference, she’s left behind her high-powered job in Silicon Valley and returned, with her husband Max and their three young daughters, to her downtrodden Pennsylvania hometown to run in a hotly contested race.
Once the campaign gets underway, Charlotte is blindsided by just how dirty her opponent is willing to fight, how harshly she is judged by the press and her peers, and how exhausting it becomes to navigate a marriage with an increasingly ambivalent and often resentful husband. When the opposition uncovers a secret that could threaten not just her campaign but everything Charlotte holds dear, she has to decide just how badly she wants to win and at what cost.
A searing, suspenseful story of political ambition, marriage, class, sexual politics, and infidelity, Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win is an insightful portrait of what it takes for a woman to run for national office in America today. In a dramatic political moment like no other with more women running for office than ever before, Jo Piazza’s novel is timely, engrossing, and perfect for readers on both sides of the aisle.
Review – Spoiler Alert: Low
“Only let the world see half of your ambition. Half of the world can’t handle seeing it all.”
CHARLOTTE WALSH LIKES TO WIN is a fierce, unapologetically feminist novel that gives us a look into what life is like for an overly ambitious woman – in this case, one running for public office. The book highlights “life” for women from all angles – career, marriage, motherhood, and general family life, plus the added insider look into politics. You will get the good, the bad and the ugly – but there is a lot more to take away from this book than just the surface topic of politics.
A smart, timely, and well-written novel – This is the female-driven book we have all been waiting for!
Commentary – Spoiler Alert: Low
Before I start discussing a few things about this novel. I have to say, while I love the cover the design of the book – I REALLY loved the package my complimentary copy came in! It was the best book mail package I have ever received to date, and I would love to thank the team at SimonBooks for gifting me a copy of this gorgeousness!
CHARLOTTE WALSH LIKES TO WIN is a book that comes to us at a time when the political climate in the United States (where I am currently living) has been at an all-time high since the 2016 elections and now the upcoming 2018 mid-term elections. To top things off the election in the book started mid-2017 and ended November 2018 – you can’t get ‘timelier’ than that LOL.
But this novel is not just timely with the election dates, but because it made me think a lot about the cost of ambition for women. The reality is men can smell ambition on women. Some pretend to be ok with it, others only if their ambitious goals are tame. But when women decide to go after those BIG goals, how many men do you think could handle it? How many are willing to change their entire lives to accommodate her goal? Quit his job, move clear across the country, leave a high powered job to be a stay at home dad? And allow the woman to wear the pants instead? No, it’s not about emasculating men or switching gender roles but how many men are willing to sacrifice the way women sacrifice on a daily.
I don’t regret my personal life choices but this book made me ask myself. Would my super loving and supportive husband make the sacrifice I made? Leave a well-paying job, with full benefits, room for growth, leave family and friends, your very existence – to move halfway around the world to settle into a completely different life, one you never saw yourself living.
It was quite something to see how Charlotte’s husband handled the move to Pennsylvania so she could run for office. It just made me wonder how many men would do that? And how many women running for office or currently in elected office have men who uprooted their lives so they could take on these leadership roles?!
I also started to question why we (as a people) hold women to completely different standards than men?
I was reminded by this when a reporter asked Charlotte about her “shoes” and then she was crucified for wear flats and being told essentially that she was not professional. I loved her clap back when she asked if they knew what her opponent’s shoes were LOL.
This book had me asking myself loads of questions…My commentary doesn’t even touch the surface. I read another feminist novel not too long ago, and this one had way more thought-provoking questions than my last book had (no shade).
Have you read CHARLOTTE WALSH LIKES TO WIN? Is it on your TBR?
Please share in the comments below – I would love to know your thoughts.