Emma is a politician in the UK, with all the pressure and harassment that that entails. She plans to help make laws to protect women, but that could all be derailed when her reputation comes on the line: her teenage daughter is caught up in a sexting scandal and a body is found in her home.
This one is from Sarah Vaughan, the author of Anatomy Of A Scandal, which will soon be adapted into a Netflix series, which is pretty cool. Vaughan is known for writing about strong women in difficult circumstances and facing ethical dilemmas. This book is no different. Emma wants to make things better, but to be taken seriously and be able to make change, she has to be seen to be impeccable. Even if she has to lie to do it.
The book is written mostly from Emma’s perspective, but we also get chapters from the teenage daughter, the ex-husbands new wife, and a journalist who knows Emma, as well as a man who may be stalking our protagonist. Personally, I find it a bit awkward. If you’re going to switch between characters, why use first person? I’m probably the only person who is bothered by little things like that though.
I really struggled to get in to this one. I just wasn’t that interested in Emma and her life in UK politics. Perhaps because she’s so different to me, I wasn’t that interested in her, or maybe with the constant barrage of political content everywhere lately, I just wasn’t that into a book set in the halls of power. It’s depressing how women in politics and the public eye are treated, as well, and I just didn’t love reading a novel in that environment. I also felt like she made some pretty irresponsible choices, which made me less sympathetic to her.
It’s not badly written at all, it’s really just personal taste on this one. For me, it was slow going, though I liked the parts about Emma’s teenage daughter. I felt sorry for her sometimes, worrying about her mother and also the way her mother can’t be as available as she wants her to be. The ending was fine, it wraps up all the loose ends, I didn’t feel like there were any major twists, but it was satisfying enough.
Read It If: you’re not oversaturated with politics right now. This one has a strong female lead and decent writing, just wasn’t for me.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the ARC of this book for review.