In this feature of the Washington Watch, WW will primarily recommend books you may find interesting but may also mention a TV program or other things. I welcome your suggestions and your input. What have you been reading or watching that you think WW readers might like?
Finding My Way: A Memoir of Family, Identity and Political Ambition
Robin F. Schepper
A deeply personal memoir about finding family and belonging from White House staffer Robin F. Schepper.
Growing up torn between her single Pan Am–stewardess mom and brothel-owning grandmother in 1960s New York City, Robin F. Schepper never imagined that she’d one day have an office in the East Wing of the White House. Her childhood in a German American neighborhood on the Upper East Side was peppered with half-truths, from the family secrets surrounding her grandmother’s immigration to deceptions about her biological father.
In a world of self-absorbed adults, Robin largely raised herself: she secured a scholarship to a prestigious private school and worked several jobs as a teenager to pay her own living expenses before finally escaping to California for college. Street-smart and undeniably driven, once in the professional world Robin quickly ascended in the male-dominated political sphere, traveling the globe while being subjected to sexual harassment and assaults that echoed obstacles her mother and grandmother had faced.
Through it all, Robin searched for her biological father. She felt that if she could understand why he abandoned her, she could free herself from secrets, lies, and shame.
Robin eventually ascended to work for the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and, in the meantime, created her own family by adopting two sons from Kazakhstan. Intimate and captivating, Finding My Way follows an ambitious woman who reached the highest pinnacles of a political career while simultaneously fulfilling her own quest to heal from family trauma and discover her true identity.
The Rabbit Hutch
An online obituary writer. A young mother with a dark secret. A woman waging a solo campaign against rodents — neighbors, separated only by the thin walls of a low-cost housing complex in the once bustling industrial center of Vacca Vale, Indiana.
Welcome to the Rabbit Hutch.
Ethereally beautiful and formidably intelligent, Blandine shares her apartment with three teenage boys she neither likes nor understands, all, like her, now aged out of the state foster care system that has repeatedly failed them, all searching for meaning in their lives.
Set over one sweltering week in July and culminating in a bizarre act of violence that finally changes everything, The Rabbit Hutch is a savagely beautiful and bitingly funny snapshot of contemporary America, a gorgeous and provocative tale of loneliness and longing, entrapment and, ultimately, freedom. “Gunty writes with a keen, sensitive eye about all manner of intimacies―the kind we build with other people, and the kind we cultivate around ourselves and our tenuous, private aspirations.