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The Hopefuls: A novel by Jennifer Close

The Hopefuls A novel by Jennifer CloseA 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, D.C., a city of idealism, gossip, and complicated friendships among the young aspiring elite.

When Beth arrives in D.C., 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 D.C. and a blazingly honest portrait of a marriage, this is the finest work yet by one of our most beloved writers.


The Hopefuls captures everything we love to hate about Washington… A hilarious gripefest… Here, finally, is a novel witty enough to match your secret loathing — and tenderhearted enough to make you realize how much you love this damned cesspool after all… A welcome mixture of humor and wisdom about the good people who run this country — or, for some reason, want to.”
—Ron Charles, The Washington Post 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“I couldn’t put down this juicy novel.”
—Megan Angelo, Glamour“Close’s novel carries a deceptively light tone. Yes, it’s a comedy, and yes, it’s a relationship novel, but it’s so timely and so wonderfully realized that The Hopefuls isn’t just those things. It’s too good — too important — to be relegated as a work of genre.”
—Bradley Sides, Electric Literature 

“Captivating… Close, whose husband worked on Obama’s campaign, uses her knowledge of this world—and her experience as an outsider—expertly. Beth’s conversational narration feels like peering into the diary of someone who shares your deepest insecurities.”
—Isabella Biedenharn, Entertainment Weekly 

“Close lays the sacrifices and successes of a marriage bare with razor-sharp prose and keen wit. Fans of Lianne Moriarty’s relatable heroines will adore fish-out-of-water Beth, while political junkies will appreciate an insider’s view of a small campaign. With themes reminiscent of The Marriage Plot and perfectly suited for this year’s political climate, The Hopefuls is unflinchingly honest and utterly compelling.”
—Stephanie Turza, Booklist (STARRED review)

“A much lighter, funnier version of House of Cards—imagine the jealousy and ambition of the Underwoods married with the humor of a sitcom like New Girl with its focus on friendships and playing at adulthood.”
—Lauren Stacks, Chicago Review of Books 

About the Author

JENNIFER CLOSE is the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses and The Smart One. Born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago, she is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in fiction writing from The New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years. She now lives in Washington, DC, and teaches creative writing at George Washington University.

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (July 19, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1101875615
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101875612

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