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Publisher's Summary

A brilliantly funny novel about ambition and marriage from the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses, The Hopefuls tells the story of a young wife who follows her husband and his political dreams to Washington, DC, a city of idealism, gossip, and complicated friendships among the young aspiring elite.

When Beth arrives in DC, she hates everything about it: the confusing traffic circles, the ubiquitous Ann Taylor suits, the humidity that descends each summer. At dinner parties, guests compare their security clearance levels. They leave their BlackBerrys on the table. They speak in acronyms. And once they realize Beth doesn't work in politics, they smile blandly and turn away.

Soon Beth and her husband, Matt, meet a charismatic White House staffer named Jimmy, and his wife, Ashleigh, and the four become inseparable, coordinating brunches, birthdays, and long weekends away. But as Jimmy's star rises higher and higher, the couples' friendship - and Beth's relationship with Matt - is threatened by jealousy, competition, and rumors.

A glorious send-up of young DC and a blazingly honest portrait of a marriage, this is the finest work yet by one of our most beloved writers.

©2016 Jennifer Close (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A fascinating drama about relationships, loyalty, the price of aspirations and success, The Hopefuls will surely ensnare you into this world from page one - and hold you there, tightly, until the final word." ( Refinery29)
"The author of Girls in White Dresses delivers her latest novel about a couple navigating the political ladder in DC. Inspired by Close's own experiences moving to Washington for her husband's work on the Obama campaign, The Hopefuls is blisteringly honest about the circus of American politics and Washington's exhausting culture of competition - one that that renders people outside of political circles virtually invisible." (Meredith Turits, Elle)
"Narrator Jorjeana Marie's lively performance and perfect pacing make this audiobook a compulsive listen.... Marie's subtle yet effective accents and tonal modulations highlight the characters' personalities, strengthening listeners' connection to the story. With its vivid details of life in D.C., this is a must-listen for an election year." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    99
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    136
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    102
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    38
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    18

Performance

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    100
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    70
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    17
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    14

Story

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    102
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    39
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Predictable storyline. Narrators voice awful.

If the reader had a cold, they should have delayed production until she was well.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I'm not sure why I stayed the whole way through...

What made the experience of listening to The Hopefuls the most enjoyable?

This was a harmless book to listen to on the commute to/from work. It's not Pulitzer material by any means but certainly holds its own in "light" literature.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jennifer Close? Why or why not?

Yes. It wasn't the books fault I'm feeling like writing a scathing review - it is the narrator's.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jorjeana Marie’s performances?

NO NO NO. And NO. Can I please make this a PSA for other narrators. Listen up, narrators! We do not need you to sound like Sandy from SpongeBob in order for us to glean that the person speaking is southern. Every time the two Texas characters were up I almost ran off the road from rolling my eyes so hard. Oh. MY. GOD. This was the worst southern accent I've ever heard and I'm from North Carolina. And please... please... do not whine the story through your nose. This performance was DREADFUL. I hate listening to my own voice on recordings but I would take it over this one. So... the book must have been good for me to suffer through this. So in summary:Southern people aren't all hicks and caricatures. Wealthy people don't have to be voiced as Thurston Howell III. Speak through your mouth, not nose. Make you voice less annoying.

Who was the most memorable character of The Hopefuls and why?

Hmmm. No one was especially likable. Main character - flawed and toward the end despicable and pithy. Husband - self-absorbed. Friends from Texas - Who knows? I couldn't bear listening to them. Friend married to the old guy - not sure what the point of her was. Mother-in-law - one dimensional and falsely portrayed as rich and therefore vapid.

Any additional comments?

Agh. The more I write the more I hate this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Very, very dissspointed

I'm pretty disappointed in this book. I kept waiting for the main character Beth to finally stand up for herself and grow up, and it just never happened. The end absolutely baffled me and left me with such a bad taste in my mouth. I don't know why the author would choose to take this route with the ending, especially in this day in age where independent women and the whole "I don't need a man to make me happy" are so prominent in the media. If you want to read a story about an emotionally abusive husband and a very sad pathetic women, then by all means The Hopefuls is for you...

As for the narrator, she did a great job with the accents but I just couldn't get over how nasally she sounded through the whole thing...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

First audible book

This was the first audible book I listened to, narration was good. It kept my interest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Is this real?

The book was above average. A lot of the details seem too real, which makes me think it might be. Or the author did excellent research and interviewed White House staff about what running a campaign entailed. Overall, I give the book a solid B rating.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun glimpse into life in DC

This was a light read - great for escaping into a world of friendships, famil dynamics, romance, politics and the pursuit of success.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Nothing happens

This is a really boring book and nothing happens until the end and when it happens it is so small it's not worth the rest of the time you spent listening to the rest of it.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Meh

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I'm not really sure. I do enjoy "frivolous" reading from time to time, however this one felt like a waste of time.

What was most disappointing about Jennifer Close’s story?

I did not care for, or even enjoy, any of the characters with the exception of the "bad guy". The main character was a wuss and I found myself wanting to yell at her to grow a back bone.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jorjeana Marie’s performances?

No, I did not enjoy her narration. It sounded like she had something in her mouth the whole time and it was very distracting.

What character would you cut from The Hopefuls?

All of them except Jimmy!

Any additional comments?

While I did not have high expectations, I did find myself wishing I had used my credit elsewhere...

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • HS
  • 05-26-17

Not what I was expecting..pretty boring

I was expecting a lot more from this novel. It fell flat. There were plenty of opportunities for the author to make some scandalous twists, but alas. Wouldn't recommend

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

It was an interesting view on working/campaigning for a future president but a little to democratic for me at times. It was a cute contemporary and an enjoyable story.