The President’s Women by June Flaum Singer
This 1988 novel from the author of ‘The Debutantes’, ‘The Movie Set’ and ‘Star Dreams’ is utterly terrible. In the 1940s sisters Francesca and Carlotta meet the sexist vile loser Bill and ruin their lives in rivalry over his shallow fleeting ‘love’. Their niece Judith is an ambitious bitter gold-digger who wants her son to be President.
In the 1960s, they and their various children of dubious parentage feud, screw, make dubious decisions, partake in rape culture, make ill-advised marriages and Judith’s over-arching worldview leads to the finale in 1992 as a new POTUS is confirmed. Hint: it’s not Clinton in this book.
This is badly written and full of idiot sex scenes and the dramatic irony is that Bill is a weak, pathetic, sexist man who has no loyalty to his politics, his family or the various women he claims to love and then abandons. He was once a gigolo hoping to be POTUS but ends his days as a kept man having fallen short of every reasonable expectation ever held for him.
Leaving aside the loathsome Bill, this had naivety, cool rejection, people perving over underage girls, accidental incest, slut shaming and a predominant theme of rape culture, ill-used women and people to whom morality is a subjective and wholly imagined concept. This SUCKED.
“This was still her home and she would no longer tolerate bitches, witches or harlots under its roof.”
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
From the author of the excellent ‘The End Of Everything’ and the inept ‘Dare Me’ and ‘The Fever’ comes this excellent, brutally intense tale of how a family have made their gymnast daughter the centre of their lives. She is wilful and charismatic and prone to agonised brooding. But whims of fate have a deleterious effect on the emotionally disconnected and rather grim clan. This tale is largely themed around ambition, the search for acclaim, a child who isn’t heard and the base level intensity of another imperious child who could be an Olympic champion. This was curiously addictive.
“Something with portent.”
“Every leotard costing more than any item of clothing Katie had.”
“I’m always by myself.”