A Time to Run: A Novel

A Time to Run: A Novel

3.1 19
by Barbara Boxer
     
 

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"A tale of friendship and betrayal, pragmatism and idealism, infighting and spin, the novel opens on the eve of a crucial vote on an ultra-conservative Supreme Court nominee. Senator Ellen Fischer is handed explosive documents that will surely derail the nomination she opposes - if she takes them to the floor of the Senate the next day. Her key staff members are…  See more details below

Overview

"A tale of friendship and betrayal, pragmatism and idealism, infighting and spin, the novel opens on the eve of a crucial vote on an ultra-conservative Supreme Court nominee. Senator Ellen Fischer is handed explosive documents that will surely derail the nomination she opposes - if she takes them to the floor of the Senate the next day. Her key staff members are divided: one urges her to go public, since no nomination could withstand such revelations. Another is more cautious - there are other battles to be fought, and this information cannot be verified before the vote takes place. Making matters more complex, the source of the information is Greg Hunter, a journalist with right-wing credentials. Greg is also Ellen's former lover - and the best friend of her beloved husband, Josh, whose own political career was fatally, and suspiciously, cut short." "Ellen faces an ethical and practical dilemma: Say nothing, and a dangerous judge will take a seat on the highest court in the land. Speak up, and Senator Fischer's own career may be irreparably jeopardized. In coming to her decision, Ellen is forced to confront truths not just about her present and her future, but also about the mysteries of her past." From student activism on the streets of Berkeley to intrigue deep in the hideaways under the Capitol, A Time to Run is the story of one woman's unexpected rise to political prominence and the difficult choices that come with it. Barbara Boxer, writing with Mary-Rose Hayes, reveals the inner workings of the corridors of power and creates a memorable portrait of what makes people - and our government - tick.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Boxer, a U.S. senator, brings an insider's knowledge of politics to this compelling novel of friendship, idealism, and corruption and the behind-the-scenes machinations that go into political deals. -Booklist

The three-term senator from California newly and handily re-elected in 2004 offers a debut novel to relate "a story I had long wanted to tell." Aspiring political activist Josh Fischer and aspiring journalist Greg Hunter are best friends and roommates at 1970s Berkeley; Josh is dark, sensitive and liberal; Greg is blond, gregarious and leans right. When the two meet Ellen Downey, a petite redhead with a steely determination to make the world a better place, romantic entanglements ensue, with Ellen ultimately marrying Josh shortly after graduation. Josh runs for political office, Ellen heads a mentoring program for at-risk kids, and Greg, married to a wealthy socialite but still in the picture, works as a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. When Josh dies during his Senate campaign, Ellen assumes his candidacy and scores an upset victory; the book opens on the eve of a vote regarding a controversial Supreme Court nominee, with Greg appearing in Ellen's office holding incendiary documents that could alter the course of history or level her career. All of this is by-the-numbers stuff, but Boxer brings been-there nuance to the backbiting, hazardous personal disclosures and naked power mongering of California and Washington politics. -Publisher's Weekly

Writing from the lofty and knowledgeable perspective of a three-term U.S. senator from California, Boxer, with San Francisco novelist Hayes (The Winter Women), offers as her fiction debut an interesting insider's account of a politician's growth from the ground up. While still a student during the heady, idealistic days of the 1970s at Berkeley, Ellen Downey begins her public career as a devoted advocate for inner-city children. During an evening of leafleting, she befriends two young men who help shape her life: the athletic and gorgeous Greg Hunter, who becomes a conservative reporter, and his darkly attractive roommate, Joshua Fischer, a gifted politician who advances from public defender to national politics. Ellen goes on to marry Josh, leaving Greg brokenhearted, and their three lives progress and intersect in ways that test all loyalties. Through these characters and intricate plot twists, Boxer communicates her liberal political convictions while telling an absorbing story. Recommended for all large fiction collections. -Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
The three-term senator from California-newly and handily re-elected in 2004-offers a debut novel to relate "a story I had long wanted to tell." Aspiring political activist Josh Fischer and aspiring journalist Greg Hunter are best friends and roommates at 1970s Berkeley; Josh is dark, sensitive and liberal; Greg is blond, gregarious and leans right. When the two meet Ellen Downey, a petite redhead with a steely determination to make the world a better place, romantic entanglements ensue, with Ellen ultimately marrying Josh shortly after graduation. Josh runs for political office, Ellen heads a mentoring program for at-risk kids, and Greg, married to a wealthy socialite but still in the picture, works as a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. When Josh dies during his Senate campaign, Ellen assumes his candidacy and scores an upset victory; the book opens on the eve of a vote regarding a controversial Supreme Court nominee, with Greg appearing in Ellen's office holding incendiary documents that could alter the course of history-or level her career. All of this is by-the-numbers stuff, but Boxer brings been-there nuance to the backbiting, hazardous personal disclosures and naked power mongering of California and Washington politics. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Writing from the lofty and knowledgeable perspective of a three-term U.S. senator from California, Boxer, with San Francisco novelist Hayes (The Winter Women), offers as her fiction debut an interesting insider's account of a politician's growth from the ground up. While still a student during the heady, idealistic days of the 1970s at Berkeley, Ellen Downey begins her public career as a devoted advocate for inner-city children. During an evening of leafleting, she befriends two young men who help shape her life: the athletic and gorgeous Greg Hunter, who becomes a conservative reporter, and his darkly attractive roommate, Joshua Fischer, a gifted politician who advances from public defender to national politics. Ellen goes on to marry Josh, leaving Greg brokenhearted, and their three lives progress and intersect in ways that test all loyalties. Through these characters and intricate plot twists, Boxer communicates her liberal political convictions while telling an absorbing story. Recommended for all large fiction collections.-Sheila Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
California Senator Boxer's first novel follows the fortunes of a young children's advocate and her politically polarized swains. Another dogwood-redolent D.C. spring, 2001. Frosh Senator Ellen Fischer (D-Calif.) is considering how best to block the appointment of conservative Frida Hernandez to the Supreme Court. Greg, a journalist co-opted by the right, offers her the dirt she needs: hospital records suggesting Hernandez abused her child. Pillow talk between Greg and former researcher Micaela reveals that the tell-tale documents are fakes. Flashback to 1974, Berkeley. Ellen is canvassing signatures for the Children's Alliance when she encounters two fellow UC seniors, pony-tailed radical Josh Fischer and studly Greg Hunter, the rejected son of an ex-Marine. Josh and Ellen are drawn to each other ideologically, but on the night of Nixon's resignation, she and Greg share a post-celebratory one-night stand. Cut to 1982. Ellen and Josh are married. He's a beleaguered public defender while Ellen continues her work rescuing disadvantaged children for the Alliance. Greg, cub reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, reconnects with gal-pal socialite Jane Hecht, ingratiating himself with her father, Gunther, a Reagan-backer. Josh falls hard for Bianca, a murder defendant's wife, but she disappears after her husband's acquittal. In 1989, Josh heroically interrupts a high-school shooting. His political career accelerates as he cleans up a polluted neighborhood. Greg succumbs to the blandishments of Senator Carl Satcher, Republican powerhouse. Soon Greg has morphed into Satcher's media lapdog, his investigative skills harnessed for dirt-digging on Democrats. Josh challenges Satcher for his Senateseat in 1998, and Greg and Micaela find Bianca. Josh is most daunted by the insinuation that he fathered Bianca's daughter, since Ellen's longing for a child was thwarted by infertility. Driving recklessly home to confess, Josh rear-ends a truck and-why ruin the suspense?Short on subtlety and insider dish, this political page-turner will nevertheless rally the blue and annoy the red.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811850438
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
10/13/2005
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.25(d)

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Meet the Author

Barbara Boxer has served as a Democratic senator from California since 1993, following ten years in the House of Representatives. This is her first novel.

Mary-Rose Hayes is the author of six previous novels. She lives in San Francisco.

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A Time to Run 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe if the grammar nazis had of read the book instead of focusings so hard on grading the book they might have understood the book better. Next time, dont grade the book....read it instead.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was frustrating and a total waste of time, (and money). It needs to be edited by a professional editor. The grammar is the WORST I have ever seen in a published book, the metaphors are hilarious in that they are so 'over-the-top' Either this book was not edited at all or her editor hates her!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is really a train wreck. I agree that this was not edited. Just the sample was painful. Not recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Because of the negative reviews, I got the sample first. It's very good! Political, so that may be what's bothering other reviewers. I'm enjoying it... and it does feel like an inside view of what happens on Capitol Hill.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. It was very interesting and struck the right balance between politics and 'personal life'. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I would definitely recommend it for anyone with even a mild interest in politics.
grannyreaderAK More than 1 year ago
It was interesting reading a novel that takes place in an area familiar to me. The story & characters are great. Anyone who enjoys reading political and/or historical type novels will enjoy this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. Believe that even though it is a novel, it is more truth than fiction. Probably not the exact scenario as it happened, but the over all story is how many people believe business is in DC during this period of time.
SheronLN More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It's clear that the writer has lots of insider knowledge. I felt the characters were well fleshed out and relatable. The story line was believable and the ending was a pleasant surprise. I really didn't see that outcome but I was happy it turned out the way it did.
CoffeeKnitRead More than 1 year ago
An interesting and engaging story. If you don't like her politics, and don't want to read her book (or did you bother to read it?), that is fine with me, but perhaps you could then refrain from writing hate-filled negative reviews. For those of us who actually bought the book, and then read it in its entirety, I offer the follow honest comment. This is a surprisingly good book. Not sure what the grammar police were reading; this book is fine. I enjoyed it much, much more than I expected to. The story moves at a good pace, the characters seem like real people, and the plot twists are realistic, not pulled out of left field . A thoroughly enjoyable read. I look forward to more from this writing team. If you are looking for an honestly written and well-told story that just happens to have a political setting, this is the book for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What crap, what a lack of talent. Total waste of time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If someone can leave a one-star review without even reading the book or base their review solely on the author's politics, I figure I can leave a 5 star for the same reasons. I probably would not have purchased this book because I already have too many unread books on my Nook. Now I want to check it out myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe if she would have stayed away from writing and concentrated on representing her constituents this useless collection of words would not have to be reviewed.  There are other well written books out there to spend your hard earned money on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If the grammar is bad I don't even want to read it.