Recent Read: Sammy's House by Kristin Gore

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A few years ago, I read Kristin Gore's first novel, Sammy's Hill. I don't think it's any secret I enjoy politics, and I can also appreciate chick lit. Those two "hobbies" are combined in Sammy's Hill, and came together once again for Sammy's House.

Since there was quite a bit of time between my reading the first and second books, I didn't remember a lot about Sammy's Hill when I decided to buy Sammy's House. I just remembered that I enjoyed it. So I figured I read the first one, I'll read the second one, too.

In the first book, we learn that Sammy is a twentysomething new-to-the-scene healthcare advisor for a up-and-coming United States Senator. Now, in the second book, she's back, but as a junior level staffer in the White House, where she works as a healthcare advisor to the Vice President of the United States.

The two main stories of focus in this book are 1) her job, and 2) her relationship with her boyfriend, Charlie. Charlie is a Washington Post reporter whose beat is--you guessed it--politics. Their relationship changes, for better or worse, when Charlie is transferred to the New York City bureau, and they suddenly find themselves in a long-distance relationship. With all of that in her personal life, Sammy has a lot to juggle once a scandal begins unfolding in the White House. Stressful work + stressful personal life = trouble for Sammy, who is (as you quickly learn) quite quirky.

In terms of chick lit, beach reads--whatever you want to call them--I thought Sammy's House had a plot that definitely kept me turning the pages. However, I did find myself annoyed with Gore's writing style a couple of times. I didn't remember this from the first book, but perhaps it was just so long ago that I had forgotten. Anyway, in Gore's attempt to make Sammy lovably neurotic and paranoid, we are often subjected to the running, rambling dialogue in Sammy's head (the book is written in first person from Sammy's point of view).

And sometimes I would just think: OK, I get that Sammy is unique. You don't have to beat me over the head with it. Sometimes, paragraphs and paragraphs of rambling thoughts really don't add anything to the story. Also, I'd feel like Gore was repeating herself sometimes, trying to remind readers of things that were already discussed earlier in the book, but to the point of excess. OK, yes, I REMEMBERED THAT ALREADY. NO NEED TO GO INTO SO MUCH DETAIL. By the end, I started to wonder if these were things that were actually in the first book that I just happened to remember (hence the reason she was repeating them), but I really don't think so.

Anyway, one of the best books I ever read? No way. Still an entertaining read? Yes.

As always, if you've read it, feel free to discuss in the comments.

2 comments:

Blablover5 January 8, 2009 at 10:11 AM  

I didn't know she'd gotten into writing books. I know she used to write for Futurama and that show was fabulous.

I may have to look into it. Sounds interesting.

Molly January 11, 2009 at 11:54 PM  

Glad you finally got to read it - I remember talking about it waaayyy back on the knot. :) I definitely enjoyed the book too, but I know what you mean about the commentary. I somewhat identified with the character because I have plenty of weird thoughts, but then it's like, okay, she doesn't have to be THAT paranoid!

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