Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win. It’s a book title and a powerful statement in one.
Charlotte Walsh is on the ride of her life. She’s running for a Senate seat in her home state of Pennslyvania, and she’s running against an old, white, incumbent, male. Nothing about this race is going to be easy for her, but she wants to fix what she believes to be past mistakes.
I can relate a lot to Charlotte, and I think a lot of other women can as well. She’s responsible for taking care of everything — her career, her employees, her kids, her spouse, and herself when she has the time. She’s got to have it all because if she didn’t, is she worthy of anyone’s time? We’ve become a lot more aware of societal pressures on women than we ever have before, but those pressures don’t change overnight. Awareness and understanding come with time, and at this time, Charlotte still feels like any failure is her fault and she needs to fix it.
“Maybe the world didn’t need her to fix everything. She’d been smug about that, often self-righteous and heavy-handed. Plenty of people glimpsed ghosts of lives they could have lived. She had at least attempted this one. That was worth something. Wasn’t it?”
On top of running a household, Charlotte runs a company that her husband works for. She has streamlined her industry, but with that, she’s taken jobs out of people’s very capable hands and given them to robots. That’s why she’s running for Senate — though she’d never admit it. She wants to fix big problems like unemployment, employee benefits, and so much more. And maybe, just maybe, she wants to fix her marriage too.
A few months ago, Charlotte caught her husband cheating on her. She feels betrayed, she feels hurt, she feels embarrassed — she feels everything imaginable about this experience, and the way Max tries to make it up to her is by standing by her side as she runs for Senate. He quits his job, becomes a stay-at-home dad, and gets praised for washing his children’s dirty clothes once a month. Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win is about what happens when a woman runs for Senate — it impacts her entire life, everything has to change, and it makes readers question if the same could be said for a man.
“Haven’t we heard this over and over again when we talk about powerful women in business and politics? Agreements, arrangements, convenience. Powerful men never have these things. They just have marriages.”
Piazza has a lot to say about strong women — and not all of it is good. Strong women are complicated. They aren’t perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, and Charlotte Walsh is no different. Charlotte struggles with letting go of the past, admitting to her mistakes, and opening up to people around her. She also sticks to her beliefs, understands a strong work ethic, and loves her children fiercely. She is simultaneously confident and self-conscious, honest and deceiving, and loving and cold. She is more than just a strong female lead, which is what makes her the perfect character for this time period. I don’t speak for all women, but I know I can relate to Charlotte more than I’d like to admit. She’s human, and that’s all we can ask for.
Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win is about a woman running for Senate. But it’s also about societal pressures on marriage, perfection, politics, and family. It’s about confidence and determination, friendship and passion. It’s about navigating the modern world as a woman. It’s more than just a Senate race.