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Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win by Jo Piazza is an insightful portrait of what it takes for a woman to run for national office in America today. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, read my preview and review first.
This is a novel about what happens when a woman wants it all—political power, a happy marriage, and happiness—but isn’t sure just how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. There is plenty to discuss with this one, especially that ending!
Let’s get into the book club questions.
- Why do you think Charlotte decided to run for Senate?
- What was your initial impressions of Charlotte? Did that change as you read more of the book? How did the campaign change her?
- What impact did Max’s affair have to Charlotte making the switch to politics?
- Do you think Charlotte is a good candidate? Why or why not?
- While Charlotte hopes to run a clean campaign, it doesn’t take long for her opponent Ted Slaughter to dirty up the process. Let’s talk about why politics alway send up dirty and personal. Will that ever change?
- Piazza paints life on the road as a candidate. What stuck out to you the most as you read those descriptions?
- Do you believe Charlotte and Max are still compatible?
- Charlotte is surrounded by a strong cast of characters including Josh, her campaign manager, Lelia, her right-hand woman and Roz, the established politician with secrets of her own. What did you think about these characters?
- So, we know Charlotte has a secret but it’s not revealed into later that the woman who had the affair with Max got pregnant and had his baby, a son. When Charlotte finds out about the baby, she sends the woman to Singapore so she’s far away from her family. But she doesn’t let her tell Max about the baby. Why do you think Charlotte did that? Do you think she ever would have told Max if the press hadn’t found out?
- Both Charlotte and Max have issues with their home state and when they go back it brings back memories both good and bad. If you’ve moved away from your home state, did you find any of that reliable?
- What are some of the key themes of this novel?
- Let’s talk about the some of the issues Charlotte had to overcome because she was a woman candidate. Why aren’t men and women candidates treated the same way?
- Would you ever run for office? What qualities do you think are important in a candidate?
- Let’s talk about that ending! Did Charlotte win or lose? If she won, do you think her and Max stayed together? And if she lost, what happens next for her?
Next on my TBR (to be read) list
The Third Hotel by Lauren van den Berg is next on my list. Check out my preview here.