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The Senator's Children

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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  432 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Sisters Betsy and Avery have never met, but they have both spent their lives under the scrutiny of prying cameras and tabloid journalists. Their father, David Christie, was a charismatic senator and promising presidential candidate until infidelity destroyed his campaign and his family’s life. In the aftermath, Betsy grieves her broken family, while Avery struggles with gr ...more
Paperback, 369 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Tin House Books
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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
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Diane S ☔
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5. I have never been a regular television watcher, well except for sports, but one show I watched the first few years of was The Good Wife. Just as that show put a human face and family to a political family, this novel does the same in book form. What seems a good, solid family, supporting, loving, falls apart under various tragedies, and eventually political scandal. Could be taken from many of the headlines in the last several years, but here the difference is that this family is so incredi ...more
Dianne
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Written in a chaotic, timeline leaping style, we are invited into the personal worlds of a politician, his public family and the child conceived in an affair made public and ignored by her father.

Witness the powerful politician who played to the masses who sympathized with his personal losses as he is catapulted into running for President. We get to know the results of his infidelity, the least of which is his loss of political power as his lack of integrity is unveiled. We read of his family,
...more
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Tragedy strikes early in this story of the Christie family. Modeled somewhat after the family of American politician John Edwards, the Christies are full of foibles. The father, David, is a flawed politician. His wife and the mother of their two children, Danielle, is annoyingly shallow considering she's a college professor. Teenage son Nick is the perfect All-American kid. And bringing up the rear is young Betsy, whose voice tells much of the story.

Montemarano jumps around in chronology and per
...more
Hunter
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Around page 180, I started getting stuck. Maybe if I had read this in one or two sittings, it would have been fine, but the longer I go with only reading this one in spurts, the less interesting it is to me. I thought it was a fine book. It just wasn't light enough to be a fun read, or insightful enough to carry any real weight. Interested to see what people think when this comes out in a few months
Heather Laskos
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book and I really enjoyed it. The Senator's Children jumps around through timelines to tell the story of 6 people all intertwined by their links to the Senator. The chapters almost read as vignettes. The topic of loss is reoccurring. The loss of a privacy through a political lifestyle, death of a child, loss of trust, loss of a parent, loss of health and yet there is hope through new relationships. We see the Senator as he first runs for office, as a s ...more
Tracy Miller
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2017
I really enjoyed this book. It was a very real and familiar story that somehow still felt fresh - maybe because of the perspective of the daughters - a story we don't usually hear.

I did sometimes get confused by the jumping of time and perspective - but I thought maybe I was supposed to a bit though, as we learn about the existence of different characters.
Meghan Becker
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Great premise, I was excited to read this book, but it fell flat. It was like having a conversation with someone who jumps around between present and past and leaves out big pieces of information only to give them to you at the end. It was absolutely ripped from the headlines and based on John and Elizabeth Edwards.
Suellen
Read for “Litsy Markup Postal Book Club”. It was an interesting book. I especially liked the 1980/1990s cultural references. Some of them really brought back memories.
Courtney Sieloff
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh
I didn't really want to read about fictional John Edwards. Scrapped it.
Karen
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a sad book but I loved it! Well done!!
Jon Pineda
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Montemarano is truly, as critically-acclaimed writer Brock Clarke notes in his endorsement of THE SENATOR'S CHILDREN, "a most rare, most remarkable sort of alchemist." Montemarano's sentences are clean, singular things that form purposefully, that build and, ultimately, fall away into a collage of resonances. The same holds true for each of the novel's memorable characters. They stay with you long after you've finished the last page.
Jill Meyer
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I'll read a work of fiction and wonder where the author got the idea for the book's plot. With Nicholas Montemarano's new novel, "The Senator's Children", I had no doubt that the genesis for the book was the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary race, and the on-going soap-opera of North Carolina Senator John Edwards. And his wife Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer. And his campaign-lover Rielle Hunter. And their love-child. Frances Quinn Hunter. Toss in three of John and Elizabeth's ch ...more
Bonnie
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Sisters Betsy and Avery have never met, but both have spent their lives under the scrutiny of prying cameras. and tabloid journalists. Their father, David Christie, was a charismatic senator and hopeful Presidential candidate. The initial descriptions focus on his attempts to catch the eyes of politicians who may be able to help him win elections. Just as he is beginning to capture the notice of those who could help him, ...more
Liz
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
http://cavebookreviews.blogspot.com

The Senator's Children begins with a description of a happy family living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. David Christie is a lawyer, his wife, Danielle is a professor of English at a small liberal arts college. David and Danielle have two kids, Nick and Betsy. As soon as the setting feels comfortable, the chaos begins and stays with the reader to end. David is running for senator and with that campaign the lives of the Christie family changes.

Events and narra
...more
Joe Orozco
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
The first taste of this book feels very promising. A guy is running for the senate. His wife and son are out doing an appearance for a fundraising event. There’s an accident, and... Well, I’m not going to give you all the details, but the way the book unfolds is quite contrary to how you’re led to believe things will turn out. I won’t even say the way the story unfolds is wrong. For me, it just felt a bit too mediocre considering how strongly the author stormed out of the gate. I need a bit more ...more
Stephanie
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2017, may
This well-written and smart novel offers tantalizing peek into the family life of charismatic politician David Christie, focusing on the impact of his campaign first for senator, and then president, on his wife and children, as well as the long-felt reverberations of an unexpected death and a hidden indiscretion.

Wonderfully character-driven, THE SENATOR'S CHILDREN is as much about grief, family, and aging as it is about politics, and it is almost quaint to reflect back on what running a politic
...more
Lissa
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
David Christie is an up and coming politician with an intelligent wife and two children, Betsy and Nick. While campaigning for Senator, tragedy strikes and changes the trajectory of his career and personal life. I found this book extremely well written and the different ways that the character’s lives intersected and affected each other was fascinating. I thought the character’s behavior and actions both repugnant, yet understandable at the same time. The plot did jump around in both time and in ...more
Gloria
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book.
A story of a senator's infidelity and its effect upon his family. The timeline jumps around but I found it added to the story rather than making it difficult. The points of view of his two daughters is particularly interesting. Recent events made this book even more interesting and pertinent.
The books is well written and readable. I was particularly struck by the ability of this author, a man, to portray the point of view of the da
...more
Lucy
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I won a copy of The Senator’s Children on Goodreads.
I thought it was an honest story of a family who had the best intentions but
life and fate intervened.
It’s a journey about the lives of a flawed political family....it tells about their personal Hell
One thing that did bother me was it’s timeline leaping style of
writing.....it was a bit too much for me at times
The Senator’s Children does not offer solutions or platitudes.....
just a look into the Christie family and the events that shaped the liv
...more
Blaire Malkin
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
ARC for review. This was a fast and absorbing read. A senator (seemingly based on John Edwards - without spoiling too much) and the lives of his children and wife are explored bouncing back and forth in time. Because there are only a handful of characters the multiple perspectives are easy to track and each one is drawn with empathy. I liked how it unfolded over time and the back and forth worked without seeming gimmicky.

Ann
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Tin House Press for sending me a copy. I found the book very well written. The characters were well-defined and certainly believable. They are real with individual issues and yet at the same time are extremely interwoven. The mingling of the timeline added to the novel and detracted if the reader wasn't alert to the changes. I looked forward to more of Montemarano's work.
Kappy
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
3.5. I enjoyed this book enough to finish it. I have felt concern for the children of politicians and famous people, imagining how hard growing up would be for them. This book addressed some of that. The story was very close to the John Edwards political story, a little too close for my comfort. If I were to read about that time, I would prefer non-fiction.
Katrina
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Solid writing and an interesting story (obvious similarity to the John Edwards political campaign with the dying wife, infidelity, subsequent destroyed political career and children left to pick up the pieces) made this an entertaining read. Seemed to fizzle out in the last third of the book which is why I gave it a 3 star.
Lisa Serota
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story about a presidential candidate and his fall from grace after an affair is exposed. If it happened now- he would still be elected. (This is pre- Clinton) His family suffers many tragedies and he has 2 daughters that don’t meet until his health fails. Although you would expect anger and resentment they are both loyal and have empathy for their father.
Robin
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I purchased this book last week at the Reed College bookstore in Portland when I was there for a conference. It was a good read - unexpected. The book moves around the timeline a lot and I'm not sure I followed all of the dates specifically, but it was enough to know what was happening. Moving at parts and real.
Hannah
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(I received a free advance copy in exchange for an honest review.)

A poetic heartfelt book dealing an up-and-coming politician who's career fell apart due to an affair, but more importantly with mistakes and accidents and the difficulty of family and love
Jessica // Starjessreads
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A strong 3 1/2 stars, but I refuse to round down because Goodreads doesn’t have a half star option. Do better Goodreads. ;) I really enjoyed this story of family and would recommend it. Full review coming soon.
linda
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Quick read. I read it in one afternoon. It was the John Edward’s story with a few new twists. I felt some compassion For Betsy and Avery when they do finally meet. It must be very hard to step into reality halfway through your lifetime.
Ivy
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Them and us

An engaging novel that attempts to bridge the stories of a philandering senator’s two families. No one gets out with much dignity but the author manages to make all of his characters both believable and sympathetic.
Maria Costello
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is loosely based on John Edwards life - dying wife, dead child, child from an affair he kept secret (or at least tried to!). Well written though the shift of time can be a bit confusing.

This was my first full read of 2018 - planning on finishing at least 2 books a month.
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Nicholas Montemarano is the author of the novels The Book of Why and A Fine Place and the short story collection If the Sky Falls. His third novel, The Senator's Children, was recently published by Tin House Books. His stories have appeared in Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, Tin House, DoubleTake, and many others, and have been reprinted in The Pushcart Prize and honored in The Best American Short S ...more

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