Friday, February 4, 2011

First Lady by Michael Dobbs


Michael Dobbs returns to the subject that made him a household name - the high drama and machinations of the political world. This is House of Cards for the 21st century, an insider's view of the dynamics of power by a writer who has had a privileged seat at the court of government for many years. This time the king maker is a woman, Virginia Edge, mid-thirties, attractive, self-sufficient, ambitious. Knowledge is power and she gleans it from the Other Half Club, a lunching group for Opposition parliamentary wives, and the gay network at Westminster. This is the story of her transformation from dutiful political wife to masterful manipulator of the entire political process at Westminster. She is a woman who is driven by the failings of men and the greed of others to take over their system and undermine it, to repay them in kind. In this battle, she has two great allies - the intuition and determination of a wronged wife, and the blind ineptitude of Westminster men. But, as Ginny discovers, there is a high price to pay for reaching to the very top...

I want to write about this before I forget the details. I actually read this last year so it’s been quite sometime.

The main character for First Lady is Ginny Edge, a wife of a young MP, Dominic Edge, from the opposition political party. Ginny got to know if her husband’s affair with an aid while she overheard the conversations of two of the other wives while in the washroom. She decided that she doesn’t want to be in that humiliating position again and instead of playing the passive wife, she decided to take ‘control’ of her husband’s career.

In Ginny’s attempt to become the First Lady, some act of trickery and unethical manoeuvring took place in the political world which might or might not shock the readers. She has in her camp, a gay Muslim political aid who helps her willingly and an editor of a tabloid who admires her but helps her grudgingly.

Along the ways, we are exposed to Ginny’s past and what she is capable of. I find this book rather entertaining. I was worried that the details of politics would put me off. Fortunately, it didn’t.

So, did the book ended with Ginny becoming the First Lady? I’m not telling. You must read it for yourself!

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