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Eighteen Acres: A Novel Hardcover – October 19, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439194823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439194829
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Melanie Kingston, White House chief of staff to the nation’s forty-fifth president, Charlotte Kramer, has spent 15 years in the 18 acres that constitute the White House complex. As her boss and dear friend President Kramer considers running for a second term, the two are confronted with political and personal turmoil that threatens their collective and individual careers. Melanie has no social life to speak of as she navigates the politics within and outside the White House. Charlotte’s marriage is falling apart, her husband is having an affair, and her closest adviser and friend makes a judgment that threatens national security and tests the bonds of friendship. Dale Smith, a reporter in love with the president’s husband, fights her conscience and professional ethics as she struggles to climb to the top of television news reporting. Wallace draws on 13 years experience as a political commentator and news reporter, many of those years spent working in the White House, to deliver a portrait of three women caught in the whirlwind of Washington politics. --Vanessa Bush

About the Author

Nicolle Wallace is a political strategist and former political analyst for CBS Evening News whose recent posts include White House Communications Director under George W. Bush and campaign advisor for John McCain and Sarah Palin. Wallace lives in New York City and Connecticut.

More About the Author

Nicolle Wallace is a U.S. Republican Party political media strategist and former political analyst for CBS Evening News whose recent posts include White House Communications Director under George W. Bush and campaign advisor for John McCain and Sarah Palin. This is her first novel.

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed the author's writing style and would highly recommend this book.
Jim
To the publishers: I found at least FOUR errors in the first half of the book...whoever your copy editor was for this book should be fired!
E. Clark
My problems with this one arose from the clumsy manner in which the author introduced all of her characters and their back-stories.
J. Prather

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Novel Chatter on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Eighteen Acres is the story of three women: Charlotte Kramer, the 45th President of the United States, her White House Chief of Staff, Melanie Kingston, and TV network White House Correspondent, Dale Smith. All are powerful, smart and savvy. They are living on the edge of an explosive world. One mistake or scandal will bring chaos to them personally as well as to citizens globally. Rumors of infidelity within the White House threaten to expose questionable weaknesses in the President's judgment. Mishandling of the situation when an attack on the President's helicopter causes further concerns about her judgment regarding the people she's put in powerful positions, people whose mistakes could cost the American people their security. As President Kramer struggles to ignite her re-election campaign, forces are in motion to keep this from happening.

"Eighteen acres" is a term politicos use when speaking of the White House complex. As a former communications director for President Bush and a political media strategist and a campaign advisor for John McCain and Sarah Palin, author Nicolle Wallace certainly knows her way around those eighteen acres very well. She's given us an insider's view of what it's like on the other side of the security fences as we look into the private areas in the White House and at the presidential get-away, Camp David. Wallace's behind- the-scenes action also takes us into the back-stabbing manipulation that happens within the media and print news arena.

While I expected more of a political thriller, I found the story compelling and an interesting read. Ms. Wallace writes characters that the reader can care about and become invested in.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I had a hard time really getting into this book. I almost quit reading it twice, but kept coming back to it. The reason? I just love a good political story. My problems with this one arose from the clumsy manner in which the author introduced all of her characters and their back-stories. The beginning seemed very poorly organized. It seemed like the author knew the story she wanted to tell but wasn't quite sure how to go about it. There were many inconsistencies and the transitions were hard to follow. The time line of events was often unclear, and dialogue was confusing. Another reviewer compares this book to the West Wing, but unfortunately this one is not nearly as well written.

The author seems to get her bearings about half way through the book and manages to finish out with a story that is finally compelling. Overall though, this barely rises above the level of fluff. Issues that could have used more exploration were dropped, some important things skipped entirely, and the relationships portrayed never succeeded in becoming anything but two dimensional characterizations. The three women portrayed here are often unlikeable and the author makes little attempt to examine their motivations. This novel seemed like it was attempting to cover some serious material, it just lacked depth and execution. Not a recommend.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By T. Davis on January 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This books fails on several levels.

Let's start with a problem that could be mine - at the unguarded moment of purchase, it never occurred to me that a political book written by a woman would be FOR women, but the overbearing and constant references to designer clothes, shoes, fashion, and other 'chick-flick' inclusions was very off-putting, and, ultimately, it stopped me cold. I finally gave up at about 80 pages. I love American history and politics as subject matter. I hadn't read fiction in over 20 years, and so, I'll own that I blundered by assuming that this would be a "non-genderified" political read. 'All the President's Men' and 'The Crusader' (both non-fiction) never once referred to the Presidents' wing-tips, style of haircut, or brand of necktie.

Secondly, while I'm a great believer in character development, this book opened with that...and stayed with that...in the absence of an opening bullseye-salvo to grab my interest. I never did find out what the 'thriller' aspect of this book is, because it draggggggged on so, that I gave up before it got into the nuts and bolts of the story.

In sum, someone needs to openly say that this book is for people who love romantic intrigue, fashion, and interpersonal relationships. The political 'thriller' component of it, whenever it finally occurred (?), was given, at best, 3rd place priority.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Ryan on November 17, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased Eighteen Acres with the highest expectations of a good political story, replete with intrigue and analysis of decision making at the White House level. Instead I got a Gucci purse and a host of brand name clothing descriptions from the insider staff.

As one who advocates for female acceptance at the highest levels of government, I was pleased to see the characters cast in those roles. These should be the brightest among us, yet when a female reporter assigned to cover the White House has an affair with the president's husband, then is SURPRISED when, after exposure, she loses her job, I began to question the level of intelligence or self-restraint. Second, the chief of staff to the president then begins an affair with another reporter, assigned to cover the White House, expecting to be able to "privately" reveal actions taken, or about to be taken, within the confines of government, because they should be able to "trust" each other.

It seems to me that the author has a limited understanding of any security protocol, military style "need to know" or the real reason behind confidentiality rules. Clearly demonstrated is the fact that when one is shacking up, a slight disagreement can result in a break-up, bringing issues to a head. How can one expect security to remain?

The whole premise, while admirable in regard to showing women in power, is fraught with a simplistic understanding of the need for security at such levels of power. Revealing high security travel arrangements for the president in an off-handed manner defies description.

At least I HOPE this is not the cavalier way in which White House staff adhere to their responsibility (and duty) to keep their mouths shut.
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