Aug 16, 2010

Pre-election Jessica Rudd's first novel launch

It's not everyday that your very first book proved to be largely prescient... (EJ)

Jessica Rudd's novel Campaign Ruby to launch tomorrow

Jessica Rudd

Jessica Rudd, daughter of the Prime Minister, in Sydney's Botanic Gardens. Picture: Alan Pryke Source: The Australian

ANOTHER Rudd is threatening to steal Labor's campaign thunder with the launch of Jessica Rudd's prescient first novel.

The launch of Ms Rudd's Campaign Ruby is sure to grab the headlines tomorrow - and Capital Circle has put together a handy cheat sheet so you're in the loop, even if you don't read the book.

The book's publishers, Text, say they don't know if Mr Rudd will be at the launch tomorrow, although they are "hopeful".

Calls to Mr Rudd's office have gone unanswered.

But whether the former PM fronts for the 6pm launch at the Riverbend bookshop, in Brisbane's Bulimba, the plot has set tongues wagging.

The story revolves around Ruby Stanhope, a young Brit who loses her high-paying job in the financial services sector in London and who, on a whim (and with a hangover), ends up in Melbourne a day later.

But her plan to take time off is thrown out the window when, after a chance meeting, Ruby is hired to work for Opposition Leader Max Masters - and is immediately thrown into an election campaign when Prime Minister Hugh Patton is deposed by his ambitious deputy, Gabrielle Brennan.

Sound familiar?

In a revealing interview in Saturday's Good Weekend, Ms Rudd admitted she had called her publisher in tears after Mr Rudd lost his job to Julia Gillard.

"Michael [Heyward, Text publisher], my book is coming true," she is reported to have said.

"Jess, you didn't make this happen," he told her.

But the book is a realistic peek inside the political world, peppered with characters that Capital Circle recognises: media consultants, gruff advisers, glamorous (and not so glamorous) journalists, all constructed around the 24-hour news cycle.

Ms Rudd's first-hand knowledge of politics shines through in the novel: Ruby battles through a political "shitstorm" when the LOO (leader of the opposition) uses the word "bull", tries to gain traction for a small and medium business policy, cops a whacking from the banking sector and, along the way, dallies with a devilishly handsome reporter, one Oscar Franklin (no relation to The Australian's Matthew, we think).

Without spoiling the plot - and with plenty of slip-ups, stuff-ups and to-do lists along the way - the book powers towards an exciting conclusion for Ruby.

Publication of the book has been brought forward from September to capitalise on the election campaign. Text, no doubt, will be delighted with the results so far.
Sumber: The Australian, 16 Aug 10

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