What would it be like to be a fly on the wall of the White House? Seeing and hearing the questions and conversations between the leader of a country and countless celebrities, dignitaries, and politicians? That was the hook that drew my interest to From the Corner of the Oval; the inside story from the first-hand perspective of a stenographer during President Obama’s administration. While it is an interesting book, I feel somewhat misled. As the proverbial fly on the wall, my view was most often that of the author making questionable choices, drinking at various clubs around the world, and expressing crippling doubt about herself at every possible turn.
The bulk of the book takes readers down an increasingly toxic road, a relationship that the author enters willingly, even going back to it time and again. The affair costs her relationships, damages friendships, and even, at times, interferes with her work. I felt as though I was watching a friend continue to make the wrong choice even after seeking and receiving contrary advice from several people. Honestly, I ended up feeling sad for her. And I worry about the people whose choices and lives were exposed in the course of the book.
I wish this book had been more about working in the White House and less about the alcohol and hormone fueled escapades of someone trying to find and validate herself.