The Washingtonienne: A Novel

The Washingtonienne: A Novel

3.3 20
by Jessica Cutler

View All Available Formats & Editions

The blog that scandalized Washington, D.C., is not a sharp steamy, utterly unrepentant novel set against the backdrop of the nations' capital....

"Just between us girls, Washington is an easy place to get laid. It's a simple matter of economics: supply and demand. Washington lacks those industries that attract the Beautiful People, such as entertainment and

See more details below


The blog that scandalized Washington, D.C., is not a sharp steamy, utterly unrepentant novel set against the backdrop of the nations' capital....

"Just between us girls, Washington is an easy place to get laid. It's a simple matter of economics: supply and demand. Washington lacks those industries that attract the Beautiful People, such as entertainment and fashion. Instead it has the government, also know as 'Hollywood for the Ugly.' Without the model-actress population to compete with, my stock shot up when I moved to DC."

When Jacqueline Turner's fiancée gives her two days to move out of his apartment, she has no choice but to leave New York City and crash with her best friend in Washington, DC. (She can't be expected to keep herself in cute clothes while paying New York City rent, after all.) She needs a new, exciting life-not to mention real employment. Where better to get a fresh start than the nation's capital?

Alas, DC turns out to be a lot more buttoned-up and toned down than she'd hoped. It's a town where a girl has to make her own excitement-and Jacqueline Turner is just the woman for the job. From the married presidential appointee who gives her cash after each tryst, to the lascivious Georgetown lawyer who parades her around like something out of Pretty Woman, Jackie's roster of paramours grows so complicated her friends ask her to start a blog so they can keep up. But in a small town like Washington, the line between private and public blurs very easily. Just as one of her beaux takes a lead in the race for her heart, Jackie realizes this blog idea may be more than she bargained for....

Deliciously gossipy and impossible to put down, The Washingtonienne is every bit as outrageously scandalous as the real-life exploits that inspired it.

In May, 2004, 26-year-old Jessica Cutler was thrust into the public eye when the on-line diary she kept for her friends exploded into Washington's scandale du jour. Immediately fired from her job as mail girl in the office of Senator Mike DeWine (for "unacceptable use of Senate computers"), Jessica remains unemployed in Washington, D.C.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Alexandra Jacobs
It's amusing to see Washington fixed by such a vodka-gimlet eye; we can all recognize the type of government geek who refuses to remove his security badge -- ''how canine,'' sniffs Jackie -- or posts photos of himself taken with famous politicians on a ''Me Wall.'' Since the days of Dawn Powell, airy novels by women about women seeking men, slopping cocktails, shopping, and slogging through dull jobs have been set mostly in Manhattan. The chicks that flock to the seat of the federal government are generally in search of career advancement, not Christian Louboutin-clad fun. So perhaps the Beltway bunch should be grateful for this lewd, unpretentious valentine to their city.
— The New York Times
Jonathan Yardley
"Lively, funny and agreeably in-your-face . . . [Cutler] sticks pins in a lot of deserving targets."
The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Cutler, the lowly Senate staffer who rocked the Capital last year with her salacious online diary, rehashes her ride into infamy in a tart, shallow tell-all that begs off as fiction. Smart but spoiled Jacqueline heads for the Hill after a broken engagement in New York. Soon this party girl is cavorting through the Capitol, where shameless flirting and sex appeal take her a long way. In Jacqueline's opinion, government is "Hollywood for the Ugly," and she coasts on her looks to score a fluffy job in a senator's office and effortlessly entice politicos on the prowl. She mines her dizzying array of casual sexploits, dished in callous, raunchy detail, for a blog to keep her friends in the loop ("I was a bitchy slut and so were all of my friends. Why not put it out there?"). Jacqueline winds up on D.C. gossip site Blogette-prompting her abrupt dismissal, an underdeveloped bit of soul-searching and lots of media attention. The flimsy garb of fiction makes for one coy striptease: just how much of Jessica emerges in Jacqueline? Who are the real-life counterparts to her paramours? For those who can conjure last summer's scandal, the reprise will liven up this year's beach batch. Agents, Michael Carlisle and Pilar Queen. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
An attractive young woman comes to Washington, DC, accepts an intern job on Capitol Hill, kisses many, and tells all on her weblog. Ultimately outed by a girlfriend, she loses her rent-paying men and her job but gains the notoriety of press coverage and a book deal. If the plot of this salacious first novel sounds familiar, it's because it actually happened to Cutler, a former employee of Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) whose online diary entries caused a political scandal when they went public last year. Main character Jacqueline is cynically smart, narcissistic, and damaged and, therefore, more than a little scary; she cares for no one and lives by the dictum, "Screw others before they screw you." That a modern young woman might believe that the old trade of sexual services for material things is new and liberating will sadden more than shock more mature readers. Cutler makes a small attempt at character analysis with hints of addiction and depression, but these are thrown glibly aside in favor of unrepentant fun. With no real character or narrative development, the book is also a touch boring. In DC, this story is old news, but there's no accounting for the wider public's taste for sexual scandal. Gauge your readers' interest and either buy the book or direct readers to the eponymous blog (http:// washingtoniennearchive. Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Party girl leaves cushy New York life for meagerly paid Capitol Hill job and starts sleeping with the high and mighty for extra cash. While there are plenty of mistakes Cutler doesn't make in her first novel, subject matter as salacious as hers still deserves to be more interesting than this. Cutler was the briefly infamous Senate employee whose blog about her scandalous romantic entanglements led to her being unmasked and losing her job. Here, Jackie is a New York club fiend interested only in dancing, drugs and screwing around who loses her rich boyfriend/meal ticket after cheating on him and has to crash with a friend in D.C. while getting subsistence pay working for a senator. Always quick to figure out how to have a good time on someone else's dime, it's not long before Jackie is sleeping with some powerful men and getting money in return. She's not quite a hooker, in that there's never talk about price-envelopes of cash are left on bedstands, Jackie mentions her rent is due and it gets paid, etc.-but the difference is fairly academic when her secret is blown. It's a relief that Cutler seems to have few illusions about Jackie, an aggressive airhead who's looking for her next meal ticket and can be counted on to be the most self-obsessed person in any room ("Despite my life-shattering emotional trauma, it was nice to know that I still looked hot"). Still, that clarity of vision doesn't mean the reader is in for any insight beyond a few pop-psych tidbits tossed out near the end. Cutler has a tendency to use spoiled and lazy writing to talk about spoiled and lazy people who think they deserve acclaim for how spoiled and lazy they are. The result, ultimately, is a book best read for itsdepressing portrait of the scrounging, idea-free juveniles who staff Capitol Hill offices. Nothing wrong with a narrator this shallow, but she should at least be funny.

Read More

Product Details

Hachette Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

"Jacqueline." He looked serious. "We can't go out to lunch."

I waited for further explanation.

"We have to be very discreet. I can't risk being seen with somebody like you."

I could not believe this shit: What is he afraid of? Doesn't every respectable married man keep a mistress?

"Since I can't take you out anywhere or offer you any kind of future, I would feel guilty if I didn't compensate you in some way."

Compensate? "You mean, like, money?" I asked.

"I'll give you financial assistance. I know you're an intern and you could use the money. It's only fair."

I wanted to know how much, but felt it would be tacky to ask. "That makes sense," I said instead.

He put his arms around me, but his affections felt false. He finished quickly the second time. I wondered how much five minutes of missionary was worth.

He started talking, complaining mostly. I really wanted to take a nap, but I stayed awake and feigned interest for his benefit. He went on and on about his job, his marriage, how he loathed Washington. (He's from Boston.)

"So why did you come to D.C. if you hate it so much here?" I asked him in an effort to participate in the "conversation," which was more like an hour-long monologue.

"When the president offers you a job, you don't say no," he said.


"You know the president?" I didn't know if I was more impressed with him or with myself: I'm one degree away from POTUS!

"That's how I got such a cushy job," he explained. "Not everybody gets to take these long lunches whenever they want." Fred put his suit back on, reached into his jacket, and pulled out a sealed envelope. "This is for you."

The money.

I thanked him as I tucked the envelope away in my handbag. The sight of it made me very uncomfortable. But as soon as he left, I tore it open and counted the cash. Four hundred dollars. For an hour of my time. What a country.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >