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Eighteen Acres: A Novel Hardcover – October 19, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 250 customer reviews

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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.

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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: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
I have been known to judge books based how many times I want to fling them across the room while reading them. This one scored at least a seven--the highest number given to any book I've read. I only finished it because it was a selection for my book club. The three main characters are so similar they could be one character. Not one grows or learns. Plotwise, nothing much happens. Halfway through, there is 'an event' that the main characters have to deal with. These girls who spend most of the book worrying about boys, fashion and personal happiness do so in a middle school fashion far more appropriate to a young adult novel than one that deals with POTUS. The only reason this poorly written, plotless, tell-me was published is because the author really(!) worked in the White House.
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