Eighteen Acres

Eighteen Acres is the story of a female American president and her trials in office both personal and professional. The story line is told from 3 different perspectives - all female. Charlotte Kramer is the president of the United States. She is nearing the end of her first term and she is tired. Tired of the political life, tired of her job, and in a tried marriage. She doesn't know if she wants to run again. She makes a decision to secretly go to Afghanistan. And the trip goes horribly awry. Insurgents succeed in blowing up Marine 1, the president's helicopter. She was not on board having been forced off by one of her senior advisers. Once back in the United States Charlotte must face a reelection campaign, the resignation of her vice president and her husband's affair with a White House correspondent.

That brings us to the second narrator. Dale Smith. She has clawed her way up to network anchor for a major news network. Part of her success comes from her affair with the President's husband. Her career comes to a crashing halt after Afghanistan. The third woman in the mix is Melanie Kingston, White House Chief of Staff. She has been in the position through 3 administrations and she too is tired. She needs a life outside the White House even though she is great friends with the President. Melanie takes up with a younger reporter who is new to the White House beat.

I thought this book would be better. The author, Nicolle Wallace is a political commentator and she was a White House communications director for George W. Bush. She has lots of insider political knowledge. It is an interesting exercise trying to figure out who some of the characters are. Could the new vice presidential candidate really be Sarah Palin in disguise? What about the cheating husband? The eighteen acres referred to in the title is the amount of space the White House compound takes up. But basically this is a chick lit sort of book. The women are all beautiful, highly competent, well educated and all survive in the end. There are some highly improbable scenes in the book - like how did the insurgents get on a US military base to shoot a grenade at the president's helicopter? The book moves along and Melanie is a great character, but if you think you are going to read some inside information about the White House you will be disappointed.
Enjoy the book for what it is - an easy chick lit read.

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