Novels set in D.C. continue to fascinate me, particularly because of all the different genres and author interpretation of the city. In my search for stories set in my current city, I came across Sammy’s Hill, a novel by Kristin Gore, the second oldest daughter of Al Gore, the Vice President under President Bill Clinton from 1993-2001.

The eponymous “Sammy” is protagonist Samantha Joyce, a 26-year-old health care analyst for Ohio Senator Robert Gary. Life on Capitol Hill can be demanding and stressful, but Sammy’s dedicated to her job, complemented by her somewhat neurotic personality. Sammy’s social life is minimal, but when handsome speechwriter Aaron Driver comes in to her life, Sammy quickly falls for him and forms a relationship. But as she soon finds out, mixing work and romance is not always a good thing. A presidential election also throws her into the hectic and crazy life of campaigning across the country.

What I enjoyed the most about this novel is that there was an actual plot and story, unlike Jennifer Close’s D.C.-set novel The Hopefuls, which reads more like a nonlinear diary than a book. Gore presented Sammy Joyce as a likeable, realistic character set against the backdrop of D.C., and accurately portrays the majority of Washington’s employees who are transplants from other states. Written in first person, Sammy makes humorous observations about D.C. color cast of characters.

Sammy’s experience on the campaign trail echoes Gore’s firsthand experience of her father running for Vice President and President. It always intrigues me when the author incorporates his or her personal experiences in to their stories, as it adds substance and authenticity.

I recommend Sammy’s Hill to anyone who enjoys a good romantic comedy set in the capital city. I will most likely be checking out the sequel, Sammy’s House, pretty soon.

 

 

 

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