Laurel Osterkamp’s November Surprise is a novel with a unique premise: follow young Lucy Jones through her life by stepping into it during presidential elections. The confluence of politics and romance provide the backdrop of an enjoyable and often humorous story. This is why novels are called novels – because they expose us to new ideas. Osterkamp’s creativity has been put to very good use here.
November Surprise chronicles the life — both romantic and political – of the main character, Lucy. We begin with the election of George Herbert Walker Bush, in which Lucy supports Dukakis. Osterkamp’s well researched political details really took me back to that election and I felt like I was living in the late ‘80s again. Osterkamp also brings in the cultural aspects of each decade to enhance that feeling.
Lucy’s relationships to the brothers Monty and Jack are interwoven with the political theme. Lucy is a three-dimensional character with the ability to fascinate the reader, speaking realistic dialogue and overcoming difficult obstacles. Lucy’s growth over six elections form a well-defined character arc that keeps us reading to the end.
I’d recommend this for readers looking for entertainment, but who are not offended by progressive politics.