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It's Classified: A Novel Hardcover – September 27, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The latest “must for political junkies and fans of political fiction”* from New York Times bestselling author Nicole Wallace.

The four most powerful women in Washington are at the top of their political game. . . . What could possibly go wrong?

Charlotte Kramer, America’s first female president, is beginning her second term and is determined to make her mark on history though events do seem to be conspiring against her. Melanie Kingston, her best friend, just signed on as secretary of defense. Will their relationship survive? Dale Smith is the senior communications advisor to the vice president and knows a secret that could not only ruin her own career, but put the credibility of the White House on the line. Tara Meyers is the most popular vice president in recent history, but does her public image match her private life?

When a classified terror threat is made public, all the weaknesses of this presidency are laid bare—and with the country’s safety at stake, someone in the White House isn’t taking any chances.

From the bestselling author of Eighteen Acres comes a novel with a true insider’s look at the lives of Washington’s political elite. It’s Classified reveals the intrigue and drama that go on behind the closed doors of the White House and opens up a world few have access to.

Amazon Exclusive: Dana Perino Reviews It's Classified

Dana Perino served as White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush and is a Fox News Contributer and regular co-host on The Five.

Last year I got eaten alive while reading Nicolle Wallace's debut novel, Eighteen Acres, in 100-degree heat on my so-called screened in porch. I kept thinking I should go inside, but I couldn't put the book down. Eighteen Acres was a terrific read, and the characters and story lines were so memorable that I kept thinking about them all year. I was particularly haunted by the young reporter-turned political operative who chose to move back to Washington, D.C. instead of staying with the love of her life in California--I wanted to pick up the phone to counsel her to stay on the west coast where she would be loved and never have a bad hair day.

This year I was a bit smarter, and instead of reading the sequel, It's Classified, outside, I stayed up late into the wee hours of the morning to finish it. Nicolle is a remarkably talented writer, and in her books about the first woman to serve as the President of the United States, she peels back the curtain of what it's really like to work inside the White House. While some people might think the stories could never happen, the details she provides--such as the back and forth with the White House press corps, dreading picking up the phone when you know it's an investigative reporter with what they think is a scoop, and even what's best to order from the White House Mess--give her books a leg up on anything I've read before in this genre.

Nicolle's characters in It's Classified reveal deeper complexities and more vulnerabilities of what it's like to be human but to have to deal with the immense pressure and scrutiny of serving in a modern White House. The staff in the book want to serve their country and to do well by their president--and that means grueling hours, grey policy areas, and, unfortunately for these characters, having to watch their backs. I was taken with their professionalism that had to take a front seat to their private lives--when you're working at the White House, it's not easy to carry on a long distance relationships, keep up with fitness and fashion, and to prevent premature wrinkles!

If you're looking for a book that is informative and entertaining, start with Eighteen Acres and carry straight on to It's Classified.

For full disclosure, Nicolle is a dear friend of mine, being one of the colleagues at the White House whose door I could close to have a good old-fashioned rant and cry without any judgment. But I don't write this because she is my friend. I know a great book when I read it, and her books are excellent. I can't wait until next year to find out what happens! --Dana Perino


“Essential reading for all political fiction junkies.” --Library Journal

“It moves along smartly and suspensefully, with insightful glimpses of White House life… It’s a gloriously cynical climax to an entertaining tale, and by itself could justify another book about Charlotte Kramer’s troubled White House. Wallace’s first two novels have been impressive." --The Washington Post

“This novel reads like a lighthearted novel for people interested in politics, but it's also a pretty big indictment of how the political process works." --Time.com

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1st Atria Books Hardcover edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451610963
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451610963
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw Rachel Maddow interview Nicolle Wallace a few days ago. They talked about It's Classified, Wallace's latest book which was, according to her, partially inspired by the events of the last presidential campaign. "Hey," I thought. "I watched that campaign." And so I picked up the book, expecting, I think, that I would see a thinly-veiled rehash of the campaign with a twist-McCain/Palin won.

I got more than I was bargaining for. Wallace's book may have been inspired by the spectre of a Palin vice-presidency, but if so inspiration quickly gave way to invention. Vice-President Tara Meyers is a tragic figure, a woman who has survived not by brilliance but by outworking everyone else-and by allowing her husband to build a world around her that both conceals and compensates for her debilitating mental/emotional condition. Exactly what this is readers are left to guess, but what is crystal clear is that it's triggered by stress-and that the stresses of Tara's new role as Vice-President have triggered it, big time.

It's Classified posits-somewhat improbably-a Washington in which a woman occupies the Oval Office, another is Secretary of Defense, a third-from the rival party-is Vice-President, and the President's estranged husband's mistress is the Vice-President's communications director. In this story, men tend to be domineering brutes, absent, or gay. With such an overtly female leadership team I expected at least a little sexism among the "silver-back" congressmen, maybe a little bitterness, and certainly some gender-based spin contributing to Tara's downfall-and it would have been so easy, given that her condition seems to turn her into a caricature of a Welfare Queen-lolling around eating junk food, reading romances, watching daytime TV, and throwing tantrums.
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4 Comments 23 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I DID read this book. I felt that it was a fascinating, fun read.

Meanwhile, over at a website of fringe right folks who fawn over Sarah Palin, they have concocted a plan today to come and file fake reviews of all Nicolle Wallace's work. I certainly hope that Amazon will keep an eye out.
Here is proof of their cheating plot. C4P...keepin' it classy:

on Open Thread 1 hour ago

"Nicolle Wallace wrote 2 books in 2011......she doesn't have that many reviews but it might behoove Palinistas to provide book reviews describing the author's "talent".......it aparently matters not that you have not read the book, they everything you write or say is a lie, or that your review is intentioned only to destroy the author......payback is hell."

The poster then posts links to Nicolle's work.
10 Comments 31 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By FOEONE on November 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm actually a slow reader, (more like a non-reader) and decided to start reading books since I'm finding extra time in my day (or less video game time, maybe just growing up.) Went to the library with my kids and found this on the recommended by librarian shelf and it turned out to be really good. I disagree with those who said it will not make sense unless you read her first book, because I didn't even know it was a 'sequel'. Now I'm looking forward to reading Eighteen Acres and see how this all started.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up Ms. Wallace's first novel Eighteen Acres (which I really loved) because I'd found her Daily Beast contributions to be original, clever, and smart. I found her writing and story telling in her debut novel - a fictional story of the nation's first female president to be even better than I expected. I love the story line, the details about working at the White House but most of all I loved the characters. I got so wrapped in the dialogue and their relationships - I felt like I really got to know them and I missed them when I finished the book.

While I was thrilled to hear she was writing a sequel, I was a little leery because as a whole I think sequels have a hard time standing up to the expectations of the first book. But I am pleased to say Ms. Wallace did not disappoint! Opening up It's Classified was like starting up a conversation with an old friend - it could have been months since you last spoke but you quickly fall into easy conversation. Charlotte, Melanie, Dale and Tara - so unique and complicated and funny women - all with such an interesting and intriguing stories to tell.

I stayed up way too late to finish the book - just couldn't put it down. So thank you, Nicolle, for these really attractive dark circles under my eyes. But it was well worth it! Please keep writing!
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Format: Hardcover
I loved It's Classified. The prologue grabbed my attention straight away -- what on earth could have happened that would leave the new popular vice president resigning in shame and the president being brought before congress in impeachment proceedings. The story line moves quickly and there were more than a few twists and turns that I did not see coming.

I agree with Dana Perino's comments in the guest review - of all the novels about political scandal and life in DC (of which there are many), Nicolle really nails it - It's Classified definitely stands out. Highly recommend if you are looking for a fun, yet substantive read.

Well done!
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