The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close is a story that I think a lot of us can relate to, at least I can at this time in my life. This novel is about a couple that moves to D.C. for the husband to pursue his political dreams. But as Beth struggles to find her bearings in this new city, Matt seems to be thriving.

Then they meet a charming couple, Jimmy and Ashleigh, and the foursome become inseparable. Beth finally feels like she has a real friend in D.C. and their new home starts to feel less foreign. But when Jimmy’s political career takes off, tensions start to rise between the couples.

What I loved about this book was how it focused on the way people compare themselves to others without knowing what goes on behind closed doors. It is far too easy to assume that other people/couples are better, happier, more successful etc. when all we see is what they choose to show and tell us. I also loved how it took a realistic approach to relationships and marriages, neither of which are easy; they are work and that is okay!

I love how Close writes and how her words are so relatable. Everything she said about the wheel of comparison is something that I have felt in my life, and it’s proof that this isn’t a one-off. This is something we all deal with, and it’s vital that we be honest with ourselves about these realities.


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