Saturday, March 26, 2011

Eighteen Acres by Nicolle Wallace

Eighteen Acres
Author: Nicolle Wallace
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: October 19, 2010
Hardcover, 362 pages
My Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from 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.

My Thoughts: I didn't know if I was going to like this book, but I'm really glad that I decided to buy it. This is Nicolle Wallace's first novel and she decided to write about what she knows, White House politics. The novel follows three women, all in different positions but all working in the White House. Each chapter is told from one of the women's points of view, so you were able to see how the president, the chief of staff, and a White House correspondent all live and interact with one another.

I think that Wallace did a great job in portraying how each woman handles the stresses of their jobs. Each woman is relatable and grows throughout the novel. It was a bit of fluff at times, crossing into chick-lit territory, but also kept me guessing at what would happen next. I will say that the ending wasn't very realistic, but it didn't ruin the whole book from me. Another thing that annoyed me was the editing. There were several typos and grammatical errors, which I hope will diminish over time as she builds a rapport with her editor. Neither of these things turned me off from reading the book, but I hope that with her next novel, Wallace will continue to grow as a writer.

While not a great piece of literature, it was an engaging and a quick read. I will definitely be looking forward to more novels from Nicolle Wallace in the future.


  1. This sounds interesting. Reading about politics gives me a headache though. I'll have to live vicariously through your reviews :)

  2. Haha, no problem. I can't handle those 1000 page chunksters that my dad likes to read about the defense policies during the 1960s. I see old men with these books all the time and think, there is no way that can be very interesting!