I was very excited to begin reading “The Hopefuls” by Jennifer Close. I’m that person that if i really like a book I try to find other books written by the same author… So after I read “Girls In White Dresses” by Close i was on the hunt for another book from her. When I found out she came out with “The Hopefuls” I was very excited. Let me tell yall I was on the hunt for this book for a while and was very pleased to find it in the stacks at my local library.
Here’s what I want y’all to know about this book. You don’t have to worry about the almost thirty year old unlucky in love writer who finds love in an unlikely place story (don’t get me wrong I love those kinds of books) this book is about a young married couple Beth and Matt. It explores the difficulties of learning to adult with someone. I found “The Hopefuls” both refreshing and interesting as it explored two topics that I am not familiar with: marriage and the world of politics. Although there were some things that I definitely can relate to. The whole comparing yourself to your friends thing….yeah sign me up for that one. Beth kind of seems like she’s lacking in inspiration and ambition and her husband Matt is very much inspired and ambitious. They move to Washington D.C which apparently is full of people trying to move up in the world of politics. Something that Beth has little interest in. Everyone is clawing for new opportunities and trying to jump on the hope train.
While this novel is told from Beth’s point of view “The Hopefuls”’explores friendship, marriage, and what happens when two couples get a little too close to one another. Beth and Matt are important don’t get me wrong but…Ash and Jimmy Dillon kind of stole the show for me. I like Beth but I am so intrigued by these two maybe that’s the point. This is the other couple in the novel in some ways they are the catalyst for a lot of the excitement they’re from Texas me being from Texas and all I like them from the jump for that reason alone and I actually know people like them in real life…now some of the stuff they say and do is a little cliche but Close really hit the nail on the head with a lot of it. Another character that I found very interesting was Beth’s best friend/college roommate Colleen she is married to guy named Bruce who is seventeen years older than her. Close doesn’t really get into their relationship too much but I’m dying to know more about them. only. There’s another character that I wanted to know more about and that was Katie the intern. The no nonsense TCU grad that had a few words here and there. The narrative in “Girls In White Dresses” switched point of views so we were able to jump between a rotation of friends…I could see this being done with the “The Hopefuls” as well but Close chose to tell the story form Beth’s perspective only which was great because like all writers Beth is v. observant. What i’m trying to say is Close created such dynamic, interesting, and real secondary characters that I can’t help but want to know more and hear more from them. Especially Ash Dillon….can we get a whole book about her PLEASE! Can we get sequels or nah?!?
Perhaps one of the most relatable parts of the book are the friendship dynamics …they grow apart and come back together. They realize that the same things that draw us to people to begin with are the same things that end up pulling us away from them in the end. Sometimes we wonder how we’re even friends with them to begin with. Then we get older and we grow up and our focus shifts our opinions change. We don’t see things the same way. Some things happen that change us forever and sometimes those changes make it hard for us to see each other the same way. Many times we let each other down and we let ourselves down. We become jealous. Sometimes we think our friends have it way easier than us. Some people actually do have it way easier than us. Sometimes we get left behind and don’t realize the potential we thought we had and that’s disappointing. Another thing Beth does that we are definitely all guilty of is being hypercritical of our friends. We all do it y’all. Especially when things aren’t really going our way. Like she said in the book it sometimes is very hard to be happy for other people. Some people we will remain close with forever and some people we will send Christmas cards to and that’s it. It’s anyone’s guess who we end up having in our lives forever and who we only have for a moment.
There’s so much more I’d like to discuss about this book but I’m going to leave it here for now!
Thanks Jennifer Close for writing a refreshingly honest novel! I loved it so much!!