Reviews of November Surprise
"Bravo to Laurel Osterkamp for yet another chick-lit title
that charms the reader, and leaves us rooting for Lucy
and Monty as if they were friends of our own."
---Keri English,
"The story sucked me in and I fell in love with Lucy's
character, identifying with her immensely. Lucy is witty,
honest, well-meaning, and adorably flawed. Osterkamp's
craft in writing description and dialogue is outstanding.
Also, Osterkamp's gift of drawing in other pop culture
details really makes the novel come alive."
---Tess, Amazon customer
"The main character is very likable, the author's writing
style striking a satisfying balance between humor and
intensity. If you enjoy political novels with a touch of
romance, you'll certainly enjoy this one."
---Jennifer, Amazon customer
This is a funny and sometimes sad novel about the life, adventures, and misadventures of Lucy Jones, a bright and well
intentioned young woman of strong convictions. Lucy tells the story in her own words from the ages of seventeen through
thirty-seven, maturing considerably during the two decades. One constant is her sustaining interest--actually a fixation--on
the American political scene and how it relates to her own sense of right and wrong, truth and justice, and how life should be.
The author weaves political events into personal events in Lucy's life as the story unfolds from 1988 through 2008 and Lucy
grows from insecure high school girl to independent, self-confident adult. Judgmental to a fault as a young person, she learns
that life is messy and complicated and preconceptions often handicap. Accidents happen. People are kind and cruel, get sick
and sometimes die, have love affairs, are often rejected; elections are lost, sometimes unfairly, and won. Politicians and people
may show promise, raising hopes, but often disappoint in the end.
Lucy finds love along the way, but not quite as she had envisioned it at the start. Monty is the high school heartthrob and hero
with "big green eyes framed by long lashes . . . warm smile . . . easy confidence" who rescues her from a bully. They connect
and disconnect over the years. Meanwhile, both have other relationships--some serious. Still single in her early thirties, Lucy is
in a new relationship, verging on marriage, but, dissatisfied with the trajectory of her life, leaves it and quits her job to attend
graduate school. This is a brave move, risking everything, with an uncertain outcome.
Where does it all go?

You'll have to read the book to find out. It would not be a spoiler to reveal that Monty--having survived his own trials, including
a bout of malaria in Africa--reenters the picture and eventually helps Lucy deal with a surprise other than the November
Surprise of the book's title.
Lucy's voice is always compelling, never boring. I was also impressed by the author's fine sense of the feelings, concerns,
styles, and other details of each generation--music, clothing, TV shows and commercials, prevailing tastes, and so forth.
---Henry Simpson, Goodreads, Oct 29, 2012
Laurel Osterkamp’s November Surprise is a book I literally could
not put down. The story sucked me in and I fell in love with Lucy’
s character, identifying with her immensely. Lucy is witty, honest,
well-meaning, and adorably flawed. Osterkamp’s craft in writing
description and dialogue is outstanding. Her dialogue is so
realistic, it’s like looking in on living and breathing people you
swear you know. Also, Osterkamp’s gift of drawing in other pop
culture details, really makes the novel come alive. I’m going to
have to get my hands on other books she has written and I
imagine anyone who reads Osterkamp will feel that way too.
---Theresa Braun, Goodreads, Aug 13, 2012
Laurel Osterkamp’s November Surprise is a novel with a unique
premise: follow young Lucy Jones through her life by stepping
into it during presidential elections. The confluence of politics and
romance provide the backdrop of an enjoyable and often
humorous story. This is why novels are called novels – because
they expose us to new ideas. Osterkamp’s creativity has been
put to very good use here.
---Indie Kindle Blitz, Goodreads, Oct 7, 2012
This was a super fast and worthwhile read -- especially in election season. Whether or note you agree with Lucy's politics, I
hope you'll appreciate her passion and desire to believe in people.
I also really liked the character of Monty. Their relationship complications seemed reasonable to me, and ultimately I found him
adorable. I also liked the friendship she had with his brother, Jack. The final scene with all three of them together is so sweet,
and ultimately shows the power of friendship and family
Told unconventionally, it had a big impact. I liked the format, I liked the voice and I liked the takeways. All were approachable
while making for a thought-evoking and entertaining read.
This book is a bargain buy for all of the entertainment it provides. If I were one of the TV personalities referenced in this book,
I would list it under, "BUY, BUY, BUY."
---Laura, Amazon customer review, Oct 23, 2012