Reviews of Campaign Promises
"Laurel Osterkamp has another winner with the novella,
Campaign Promises. Lucy Jones' life is defined by
significant moments in politics, from her first crush to
her high school reunion, and a few more big events in
between. Everything relates back to particular politicians
and how their stories shape Lucy's own perspective.
I'm a bit of a political junkie, and I couldn't get enough
of this book. I had never thought about significant
events from my own life against the backdrop of the
hot political story of the day, but really, the relationship
is there if you just take a moment to think about it.
This is such an interesting premise for a book.
Osterkamp uses third party candidate John Bayard
Anderson to talk about Lucy' lessons in integrity. Gary
Hart's mistakes when it came to romance- and being
overconfident are a part of some risk taking Lucy
enjoys. And a certain (two shots of crazy)
congresswoman-as-mean-girl is there to show how
some people just never change.
I found myself looking forward to seeing how Laurel
would relate political figures to the events in Lucy's life.
I liked the reminder that Pat Schroeder blazed a trail in
her run for presidency (and the reminder that because
of her, we have the Family and Medical Leave Act. Thank
you, Pat). I don't want to give away Lucy's life lesson
from Pat, but I found myself going "Yep, uh-huh, I
sometimes do that, too."
The last chapter had me laughing. This is the one with
the (two shots of crazy) mean girl-congresswoman
reference. It relays an encounter Lucy has at her high
school reunion, and I found myself playing out the
scene in my head. I really appreciated the references
Laurel made here and found myself just wanting more
stories from Lucy's life."
Ashley Williams, The Book Fetish, August, 2011
"We all have experienced defining moments in life. These are the moments that we attribute to changing
direction, gaining a deeper understanding, but mostly profoundly shaping who we are as individuals. Laurel
Osterkamp's novella, Campaign Promises, is just this: five deeply compelling vignettes following Lucy Jones
through her most significant moments over twenty years of her life.
Beginning in high school, Lucy finds it easiest to understand her current experiences through political
campaign analogies and continues to make sense of events this way as the years role on. After reading (and
loving) Osterkamp's "Starring in the Movie of My Life" earlier this year I knew that she writes characters who
struggle with the complexity of maturing and coming into ones own. Because of this, Lucy is easily relatable
as she experiences the milestones of high school, weddings, funerals, baby showers, and swings full circle
back to high school reunions. This trajectory illustrates Lucy's growth as she is finally able to compare her
adult self to her naive, idealistic youth.
I enjoyed the glimpse into Lucy's life and her ability to explain where she was at emotionally and personally
through a political lens. I was also impressed with Osterkamp's subtle slight of hand in one chapter, which
made me scrabble back a few pages to realize a character in question was not who I thought they were.
Although some readers might feel tricked, I enjoyed the unexpected surprise. Readers should note that
Campaign Promises is liberal leaning and specifically critical of Michele Bachmann...so, fair warning if you are a
Bachmann fan
Campaign Promises is a intelligent peek into one woman's journey into adulthood as her naivety and idealism
are nurtured into mature self-awareness. At 75 eBook pages, Campaign Promises is the perfect companion
for short trips, lunch hours, or an early afternoon with a cup of tea that leaves you feeling accomplished and
satisfied."
Christine, BitchLItBlog, October, 2011
"Campaign Promises follows Lucy through
several big events in her life, and for each big
event she compares her life and current situation
to a past political candidate. It's definitely from
the perspective of a Democrat, but I liked that.
I thought Osterkamp's writing style was subtle
and effective, and her short story left me wanting
more - which is a good thing. It's an interesting
premise for a novella, comparing politics to
personal situations. I thought that was unique
and I was glad to see some fiction that is
obviously intended for women take such an
intelligent slant. I will definitely read more by this
author!"
Mary H., Amazon Customer Review, Sept. 18,
2011
"Absolutely perfect. Great pacing, I was never
bored or overpowered by details and events
flowed smoothly. Genius involvement of
politics... not too much but enough to make a
point. Brilliantly dynamic characters... Lucy was
realistic and yet idealistic and drew my
sympathy as well. The plot was exactly right
and thoroughly enjoyable. Best short story of
this genre that I have ever read. Two thumbs
up and five stars for Laurel Osterkamp."
Gwnfkt, Library Thing, Jan 9, 2012
"Laurel Osterkamp's Campaign Promises is a
quick and entertaining read. In my opinion it
would probably appeal above all to persons who
are interested in politics and the politicians due
to the secondary focus on the political life, while
its primary focus is on Lucy and some selected
events in her life. I truly enjoyed this novella and
would recommend it without a doubt."
QueenOfEschnapur, Library Thing, July 6,
2012