November 24th, 2020 by Jane Turner
Lightning Books sent me a free copy of Rachel to the Rescue by Elinor Lipman to review (thanks Scott!). Rachel to the Rescue was published on 16 October 2020.
Rachel Klein is sacked from her job at the White House after she sends an email criticising Donald Trump. As she is escorted off the premises she is hit by a speeding car, driven by what the press will discreetly call ‘a personal friend of the President’.
Does that explain the flowers, the get-well wishes at a press briefing, the hush money offered by a lawyer at her hospital bedside?
Rachel’s recovery is soothed by comically doting parents, matchmaking room-mates, a new job as aide to a journalist whose books aim to defame the President, and unexpected love at the local wine store.
But secrets leak, and Rachel’s new-found happiness has to make room for more than a little chaos. Will she bring down the President? Or will he manage to do that all by himself?
Rachel to the Rescue is a mischievous political satire, with a delightful cast of characters, from one of America’s funniest novelists.
America didn’t want to publish this. Not sure why – I think it’s comedy gold. And might just be accurate!
It’s been reported in the press that Donald Trump has a habit of tearing up documents when he’s finished reading them. Now, you can’t do that if you’re president – the Archive needs to keep every single document. And it’s Rachel’s job to sit there with sticky tape and stick the documents back together.
And in a case of mis-addressing an email (which we’ve all done, right?) she accidentally sends a hilariously disparaging email further than her colleagues in WHORM (White House Office of Records Management).
This leads to a total change of life for Rachel – starting with being hit by a car after her ejection from the White House. Not just any car, though – this one’s being driven by the president’s mistress.
I really enjoyed this. Ms Lipman is a wonderful author, and her body of work speaks for itself. This is the first of hers that I’ve read, but won’t be the last.
The only thing that struck me as odd was the title – I’m not sure exactly what Rachel rescues. Herself? Maybe…
I’d recommend this to anyone needing a giggle. Ms Lipman creates characters with a brilliant wit, eccentricities galore, and parental dotage that’s almost too realistic!
Have a giggle. Spend some time with Rachel.
Elinor Lipman is the author of 11 humorous novels about contemporary American society; essay and short story collections, and a book of rhyming political tweets.. Born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, she graduated from Simmons College where she studied journalism. She lives in Manhattan, and received the New England Book award for fiction in 2001.
Her first novel, “Then She Found Me,” was adapted for the screen, starring Helen Hunt, Bette Midler, Colin Firth and Matthew Broderick. Her fourth novel, “The Inn at Lake Devine” was adapted for the off-off Broadway stage by Tongue in Cheek Theater. In 2011-2012, she held the Elizabeth Drew chair in creative writing at Smith College.
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