Campaign Promises

Rated 3.90/5 based on 10 reviews
Comedy writer and acclaimed novelist Laurel Osterkamp has written a funny and moving novella about life, love, and politics as seen through the unique lens of Lucy Jones, a quintessential girl-next-door who is obsessed with political campaigns. Liberal, idealistic, and struggling to find her way, Lucy has an easier time believing in causes than she does in herself. More
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Elizabeth Miller reviewed on Sep. 12, 2012

Too Short. I've now read several of Laurel Osterkamp's stories and all of them have been good and this one is just as readable. Witty, fast paced and well worth a look. A wonderful way to spend an hour or so in the sun.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
Carmen Aim reviewed on Sep. 9, 2012

Enjoyable and thought-provoking. Very well-written. I'd have liked it to be longer, though! Looking forward to the sequel.
(review of free book)
Quentin Stewart reviewed on Nov. 1, 2011

Very interesting story and a quick read. Ms. Osterkamp takes important events in her life and compares them to political events that occurred and that also affected her life in some way. Her stories tell of the political problems that arise from campaigns for high office. Whether it is a candidate that turns emotional during a press conference or candidate dying that causes a campaign promise to be broken they all affected her and she has been able to show how those incidents in campaigns can be translated into her life. The novella is well written and is done in such a way as not to be overbearing but it does get its point across. Very good job.
(reviewed 55 days after purchase)
C Demore reviewed on Oct. 31, 2011

We all have experienced defining moments in life. These are the moments that we attribute to changing direction, gaining a deeper understanding, but mostly profoundly shaping who we are as individuals. Laurel Osterkamp’s novella, Campaign Promises, is just this: five deeply compelling vignettes following Lucy Jones through her most significant moments over twenty years of her life.

Beginning in high school, Lucy finds it easiest to understand her current experiences through political campaign analogies and continues to make sense of events this way as the years role on. After reading (and loving) Osterkamp’s Starring in the Movie of My Life earlier this year I knew that she writes characters who struggle with the complexity of maturing and coming into ones own. Because of this, Lucy is easily relatable as she experiences the milestones of high school, weddings, funerals, baby showers, and swings full circle back to high school reunions. This trajectory illustrates Lucy’s growth as she is finally able to compare her adult self to her naive, idealistic youth.

I enjoyed the glimpse into Lucy’s life and her ability to explain where she was at emotionally and personally through a political lens. I was also impressed with Osterkamp’s subtle slight of hand in one chapter, which made me scrabble back a few pages to realize a character in question was not who I thought they were. Although some readers might feel tricked, I enjoyed the unexpected surprise. Readers should note that Campaign Promises is liberal leaning and specifically critical of Michele Bachmann…so, fair warning if you are a Bachmann fan.

Campaign Promises is a intelligent peek into one woman’s journey into adulthood as her naivety and idealism are nurtured into mature self-awareness. At 75 eBook pages, Campaign Promises is the perfect companion for short trips, lunch hours, or an early afternoon with a cup of tea that leaves you feeling accomplished and satisfied.

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(reviewed 62 days after purchase)
Hannah Hummel reviewed on Oct. 26, 2011

I loved this book because it had a very interesting plot.
(reviewed 51 days after purchase)
Catlin P reviewed on Oct. 22, 2011

This is an interesting novella that compares different phases of a woman's love life with various presidential campaigns. However, I think the characters could use some work and it seems a bit disconnected--more like little vignettes than a single story. It's an average read.
(reviewed 44 days after purchase)
Deborah R reviewed on Oct. 20, 2011

Wasn't really really crazy about this one...when I finished I kind of felt like what was the point of the book?
(reviewed 45 days after purchase)
brownewt reviewed on Oct. 2, 2011

This book was fun and interesting. I enjoy politics although this was the first fiction based in that arena that I have read. I would definitely recommend it to my friends. I am an independent but lean right on most but not all issues.

So I didn't agree with all of the politics Ms. Osterkamp was promoting or at least not all of the assumptions, but it was still an ejoyable read. You also really felt that those were Lucy's opinions. She was consistent.

Actually I thought it could've been longer and had potential for more development of characters and especially more on the lessons she is learning from the various political figures in the book. I could've easily read more. The romance part was mostly a side note so if you aren't a romance fan you would still enjoy this book.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
justmax reviewed on Sep. 26, 2011

This is a fun and witty novella comparing relationships to politicians. Definitely not for the Michelle Bachman fans out there but for those of us with a more liberal bent and at least a modicum of humour, this is a winning combination.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Ashley reviewed on Aug. 29, 2011

Laurel Osterkamp has another winner with the novella, Campaign Promises. Lucy Jones' life is defined by significant moments in politics, from her first crush to her high school reunion, and a few more big events in between. Everything relates back to particular politicians and how their stories shape Lucy's own perspective.

I'm a bit of a political junkie, and I couldn't get enough of this book. I had never thought about significant events from my own life against the backdrop of the hot political story of the day, but really, the relationship is there if you just take a moment to think about it.

This is such an interesting premise for a book. Osterkamp uses third party candidate John Bayard Anderson to talk about Lucy' lessons in integrity. Gary Hart's mistakes when it came to romance- and being overconfident are a part of some risk taking Lucy enjoys. And a certain (two shots of crazy) congresswoman-as-mean-girl is there to show how some people just never change.

I found myself looking forward to seeing how Laurel would relate political figures to the events in Lucy's life. I liked the reminder that Pat Schroeder blazed a trail in her run for presidency (and the reminder that because of her, we have the Family and Medical Leave Act. Thank you, Pat). I don't want to give away Lucy's life lesson from Pat, but I found myself going "Yep, uh-huh, I sometimes do that, too."

The last chapter had me laughing. This is the one with the (two shots of crazy) mean girl-congresswoman reference. It relays an encounter Lucy has at her high school reunion, and I found myself playing out the scene in my head. I really appreciated the references Laurel made here and found myself just wanting more stories from Lucy's life.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
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