There are a few published authors who have a reputation for being passionate about a particular political or social topic. Most readers know this up front and share these authors’ views. But what about those individuals who unsuspectingly buy a book and find themselves getting a dissertation on our corrupt politicians, or how the lack of progress in going green is hurting the country. When does the author’s belief system interfere with your enjoyment of a book?
Frankly, I can tolerate social commentary over political. For the most part, I don’t run into it in most of the books I read and when I do, it’s usually not a problem, but politics can be more problematic. I recently read a book for review that had our politicians sabotaging a military mission in order to stir up sympathy support for the war. Talk about an unexpected and unwanted political surprise. Things like this stick in my mind and overshadow the romance portion of the book. When I asked my fellow reviewers what romance books they have read with political or social views within the pages, I received numerous examples within minutes. Maggie remembers Lady Liberty by Vicki Hinze being controversial for its inclusion of political talk about a former president whose sexual exploits brought disgrace to the office and a new one whose ritual of daily prayer was returning that respect. Kristan Higgins’ book All I Ever Wanted has Michelle Obama giving sage advice to the heroine. Continuing on the political front in the realm of historicals, Dabney mentions Sherry Thomas’ discussion about the lack of foresight used by the British in the 1800’s invasion of what is now Pakistan in her book, Not Quite a Husband.