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Sammy's Hill Paperback – June 15, 2005
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"A chick-lit romp with a Capital Hill twist." -- Washington Post
"A hilarious first novela laugh-out-loud literary debut." -- Newsweek
"A smash debut. Her tale is an absurd and convincing rendering of everyday life in the political jungle." -- O The Oprah Magazine
"Full of sly plot twists and big laughs." -- Matt Groening
"Laugh-out-loud funny." -- San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Kristin Gore was born in 1977 and graduated from Harvard, where she wrote for the Harvard Lampoon. She has written for several television shows, including Saturday Night Live and Futurama. Her previous novel, Sammy's Hill, will be a Columbia Pictures feature film. She is currently at work on the screenplay. She resides in Los Angeles.
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Samantha Joyce is dedicated, still idealistic young woman working for the Senator from her home state of Ohio. Like some of the young people that come to Washington to work insane hours for very little money, she's there because she believes that she can make a difference, and she believes that her boss, Senator Gary, is the same. In her quest to pass a health care bill, Sammy finds herself working with the frustrating staff of another Senator, one who is ambitious, ruthless, and gunning for the White House... and whose charming speechwriter she can't resist. From dealing with a constituent who shows up high to testify for her bill to accidentally hitting reply-all and having her sexy email end up all over the Hill... and in the news, there are definitely some hilarious and embarrassing adventures. While trying to save her bill from being derailed, stripped of it's strength, and filibustered, Sammy has to balance her 70 hour work week with a secret relationship, scheming staffers, and staying true to her ideals in the back-scratching, back-stabbing, power-hungry world of politics...and that's before she heads out on the campaign trail.
It's an interesting tale, and wanting to know what happened next kept me going, even when Sammy herself made me want to stop reading. It's clearly difficult to write a female protagonist: too perfect and she's boring and fake, but authors have to be careful to avoid writing a character that falls into one of the common, overdone, stereotypical "female" personalities. So, I sympathize with Gore and appreciate that she tried to write a different type of female character...unfortunately it was way too over the top for me. While I think that she was aiming for an awkward, Bridget Jones-type character, Sammy was just too much. We are talking about a woman who, near the beginning of the book, decides to get ready for work with only one arm so that if she ever loses an arm in a wild animal attack, she'll be prepared for her new life. I wish I were kidding, but this kind of nonsense and paranoia continues for the majority of the book. Instead of thinking she was charming or quirky, I spent the first half of the book wondering if she needed to be on anti-psychotic medication. Luckily, once the reader has been beaten over the head a dozen times with her craziness, Gore finally tones it down (or maybe I just became immune) and Sammy seems like a half-way likeable character.
Enjoyable for what it was, I can only hope the that sequel cut out the majority of Sammy's weirdness and focused on the exciting world that she inhabits, the political machinations, and the humor of Washington's little absurdities.
If you are a fan of The Nanny Diaries or The Devil Wears Prada, then you will certainly enjoy this novel. It's smart, fun, and one you won't want to put down.