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When she gets the email announcing her redundancy, Ruby Stanhope hopes to maintain the composure expected of your average London investment banker.
Instead, the next day’s hangover brings two unfortunate discoveries. First, her impromptu reply to the bosses has gone viral, published everywhere from Facebook to the Financial Times. Second, she has a non-refundable, same-day ticket to Melbourne thanks to a dangerous cocktail of Victorian pinot noir, broadband internet and a dash of melancholy.
Landing in Australia, Ruby plans a quiet stay with her aunt in the Yarra Valley—but a party at the local winery results in an unexpected job offer: financial policy adviser to the Federal Leader of the Opposition.
Intrigued, Ruby heads to Melbourne for morning coffee with the Chief of Staff—and finds herself in the middle of the Treasurer’s overthrow of the Prime Minister and the announcement of an early election.
Rookie Ruby, dubbed ‘Roo’ by her Aussie colleagues, is thrown into the campaign and spends four weeks circumnavigating Australia while trying to stay afloat in the deep end of politics. Through trial and plenty of error (including wardrobe malfunctions, media mishaps and a palate for unsavoury men) she finds passion, not just a flair, for her new career.
With its light touch and deft comic instincts, Campaign Ruby is a delightful combination of fashion, faux pas, falling for the wrong man and the unexpected fun of federal politics.
From the first page…you know you are in for a fabulous time. It’s a roller-coaster, high-heeled adventure…filled with intriguing media moments, wardrobe disasters, travelling hiccups and a selection of romantic encounters. Extremely enjoyable.
Jessica Rudd’s debut novel is a light-hearted, skilfully written political romp…Her language is fresh and she is all the more impressive because of the momentum she sustains, a rarity among first-time novelists. Campaign Ruby is the Gen Y comedy of manners par excellence…If Kevin Rudd had been as funny as his daughter, our nation’s history might be different. She has all the “values”—family, loyalty, friendship—but doesn’t take herself too seriously; she has a charming gift for language…comedy writing is never easy, but a comedy of political manners-how cool is that?’
Rudd is very good at balancing the serious side of politic with the slapstick antics that are de rigueur in chick lit. There are comic moments that are genuinely snort-worthy…Rudd’s pacing throughout is excellent - there’s rarely a moment where the narrative energy flags - and she has a great ear for dialogue.
Think Bridget Jones on the campaign trail with some surprising humour.