Thursday, July 26, 2018

review: from the corner of the oval by beck dorey-stein

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Trying to make ends meet with five part-time jobs, Beck Dorey-Stein starts dreaming of a full-time job with benefits. That's how she ends up applying for a stenographer job on Craigslist which turns out not to be at a law firm like she thought, but at the White House. In From the Corner of the Oval, Dorey-Stein shares her experiences as a stenographer for the Obama administration from 2012 onward. It's not all politics though as Dorey-Stein fails to heed a colleague's advice of "stay with your boyfriend" to have a fling with one of the others who travels with the president. With the White House (and Air Force One) serving as a backdrop, Dorey-Stein's memoir is an entertaining look at the mistakes one makes in her (or his) twenties when everything still seems possible, but nights of too much drinking get in the way. While some may find it off-putting that she includes compliments of her writing (when a staffer leaves, she gifts the person with a personal essay), those incorporations serve as a explanation that this memoir was a work that hadn't really been meant to be shared when Dorey-Stein was journaling such personal details (plus, she really is a great writer).
Review copy provided by the publisher, Spiegel & Grau.

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