"Eighteen Acres" by Nicole Wallace

 Eighteen Acres by Nicole Wallace

Hardcover, 336 pages
Atria, $25.00
October 19, 2010


Eighteen Acres is the story of three women: Charlotte Kramer, the 45th President of the United States, her White House Chief of Staff, Melanie Kingston, and TV network White House Correspondent, Dale Smith.  All are powerful, smart and savvy. They are living on the edge of an explosive world. One mistake or scandal will bring chaos to them personally as well as to citizens globally. Rumors of infidelity within the White House threaten to expose questionable weaknesses in the President’s judgment. Mishandling of the situation when an attack on the President’s helicopter causes further concerns about her judgment regarding the people she’s put in powerful positions, people whose mistakes could cost the American people their security.  As President Kramer struggles to ignite her re-election campaign, forces are in motion to keep this from happening.

 “Eighteen acres” is a term politicos use when speaking of the White House complex. As a former communications director for President Bush and a political media strategist and a campaign advisor for John McCain and Sarah Palin, author Nicolle Wallace certainly knows her way around those eighteen acres very well. She’s given us an insider’s view of what it’s like on the other side of the security fences as we look into the private areas in the White House and at the presidential get-away, Camp David.  Wallace’s behind- the-scenes action also takes us into the back-stabbing manipulation that happens within the media and print news arena.

While I expected more of a political thriller, I found the story compelling and an interesting read. Ms. Wallace writes characters that the reader can care about and become invested in. I did find the heavy focus on expensive designer name products a bit off putting coming from people in such high power positions. Am I nitpicking? Maybe. But such name dropping is both distracting and unnecessary in a book of this genre.

I do recommend Eighteen Acres.  It’s a fun fast read, with a nice flow through story about what it would be like to have the first woman president.  I expected a bit more conflict and complexity, but all in all, Ms. Wallace has written a great first novel. I’ll look forward to what she does next!

If I were to give it a “star”rating?  I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Source: This book was provided to me by the publisher at my request and in no way affected by review.

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