I loved reading about Washington D.C. from the point of view of a wide-eyed 22 year old. I have never been to D.C., but the writers' sassy descriptions helped me to understand the ins and outs of an everyday staffer's life a little better. Allison describes her second day on the job, and her walk to work:
"DC sidewalks aren't the sensible sidewalks found in South Dakota or Minnesota. They're uneven bricks grouted together with large, heel-grabbing gaps in between. After five blocks I'd already lost the fight with the sidewalk three times. First, my shoe would get stuck in a sidewalk crack, which would cause me to trip. Luckily, I was just clumsy enough to have had plenty of past experience in balance recovery."
This paragraph reminded me of how many times I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk (even in flats) and also of the time I wore brand new heels to college and after walking around for a couple of hours, had another student approach me and whisper that I was bleeding from my heels and leaving a trail of blood behind me. What we won't do for fashion when we're young!!
The character of Allison is smart and sassy. I felt for her because she didn't want to take a lot of the crap that her boss and other staffers were dishing out, but she felt like she had to in order to be able to advance in the political world. Her friend Janet is her perfect counterpoint, shy, sweet and deferential, but with very dirty mind!! They find themselves in the middle of one minor catastrophe after another, but using creative problem solving, always manage to come out on top.
The political story line is creative and funny (If this book and the TV show Veep are any indication, it would appear that most members of Congress are, to be polite, more than a little eccentric). I think older women would enjoy looking back on their idealistic youth and younger women would identify even more closely with Allison and Jane. I would not recommend this book for most men - it's pretty firmly in the "chick lit" category.