By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Campaign Ruby: Meet Ruby Stanhope, life of the party
By Jessica Rudd (Text Publishing, $32.95, softcover, 324 pages)
Having spent most of her life following politics, Jessica Rudd also proves to be a deft hand at delivering a pleasing, first-hand account of life on the campaign trail – and a whole lot more.
Blending humour with sadness, imagination imitates real life in Campaign Ruby.
An extraordinary feature of this novel is its uncanny prediction through the storyline about the events that unfolded for her father – former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – who was toppled by Julia Gillard in the leadership battle.
Ruby Stanhope is a young, single, London-based workaholic investment banker who gets retrenched and arrives in the middle of a heatwave in Australia. It’s not long before she gets caught up in a federal election vote-seeking circus.
Feeling out of her depth, she deals with a frenetic schedule of whistle-stop tours, a malfunctioning wardrobe, is keen to find love and she must do her best to win.
Ruby is totally lovable, clueless and as smart as she is clumsy. Women can relate to her. She loves red-soled Louboutins, beefcake journalists, avocado-scented shaving gels, writing up to-do lists and is a Notting Hill fashionista.
Written in an easy-reading style, Campaign Ruby comes with engaging portrayals, rigid plots, staged reversals and, significantly, displays the ability to induce laughter without malevolence.
Why is she so likeable? Ruby resonates because of her struggle to balance work and love.
Campaign Ruby is a high-heeled rollercoaster ride, packed with captivating media episodes, travelling traumas and romantic escapades.
Jessica, 27, is a Canberra-born, Brisbane-raised ex-lawyer, ex-campaign worker, ex-PR consultant who lives in Beijing.
She grew up in a house where “Federal Budget Night is almost as exciting as the State of Origin”. Jessica shares “that buzz through the eyes of a first-time campaigner … it excites me”.
Her protagonist Ruby will return in a sequel, Ruby Blues, in November this year.
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.