Book Review: "America the Beautiful" by Laura Hayden

White House or Bust

Emily Benton is on the verge of becoming the first female to be elected President of America. Her campaign manager Kate Rosen is doing whatever it takes to make Emily's life long dream come true. This means making Emily look to be the best candidate possible and proving to the voters that she has what it takes to run the nation. However, there are those that want to stop Emily with threats and shootings. Kate also has to face the dilemma of what to do when her faith conflicts with the dark side of politics. This book is an insider's guide on what it takes to win the road to the White House.

I was so glad when reading this book to see that the female candidate was running a campaign of her own AND doing very well. I was getting tired of reading books where the woman only becomes president by default of being Vice President. It was nice to see that a woman was winning votes on her own and not because she was tacked on to get more votes for someone else. It's hard to read this book and NOT see the similarities to the election that is happening in 2008. I happen to read this book during one of the key primaries and it was fascinating to see fiction being portrayed in real life. One of the most interesting quotes I found in the book dealt with the theory of what if a male and female candidate both has the same ideas and goals. The public would vote for the male because that is what the country is used to in terms of tradition.

The book does not go into great detail about which party Emily belong too, therefore key issues that today's politicians face are not discussed. I think this was a wise decision because there would be a possibility of the book leaning too much to one side. The story is focused more on Kate and her role as campaign manager vs. Emily herself. The book deals with an important issue of what to do with your faith when you work in politics. I felt that Kate's character faced difficult decisions every day because she had to choose where to draw the line regarding Emily's campaign. The writing in this book is top notch, suspenseful, funny, and it really makes you think about the lives of the candidates. There are lots of tidbits of political information throughout the book so it will not only entertain you but will educate you as well. This is one of the best political suspense novels I have ever read. I really hope that there is a sequel to this book. VERY highly recommended.

America the Beautiful by Laura Hayden is published by Tyndale (2008)


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