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The Governor's Lady

Robert Inman

John F. Blair, Publisher
$26.95 hardcover
6 x 9
272 pages
September 10, 2013

Cooper Lanier has been surrounded by politics her entire life. Her late father, Cleve Spainhour, was a beloved two-term Southern governor, as was her husband, Pickett Lanier. Now, Cooper is taking office as governor herself, succeeding Pickett as he campaigns for president.

On her first day, as the state is blindsided by a blizzard, Cooper quickly realizes she is surrounded by leftovers from her husband’s administration and that Pickett intends to manage the state’s affairs from the campaign trail, even if it means undermining her every command. Cooper is faced with the stark choice of seizing control or becoming a phony, irrelevant figurehead.

Smart, feisty, and independent, Cooper follows her instincts and takes charge.

Her political rift with Pickett mirrors their unraveling relationship. Pickett’s obsession with politics has pulled him farther and farther from her. Since childhood, Cooper has thought of politics as a thief that steals everyone she loves. She has mostly blamed her mother, Mickey Spainhour, a once-prominent political mastermind. When Cooper discovers the breadth of Pickett’s back-room dealings, and just how far he’s willing to go to become president, she realizes she must learn to use her political pedigree and instincts to serve her state.

Struggling to chart a course through the treacherous shoals of male-dominated politics, she finds unexpected allies in the ailing Mickey, from whom she has been estranged for years, and Wheeler Kincaid, a crusty, aging newspaper reporter.

The Governor’s Lady shows how politics brings out the best and worst in people and how the public arena affects politicians’ values and relationships. The novel will appeal to those interested in a deeper understanding of the subtexts and complexities of American politics and the growing role of women in the political landscape.




"Inman beautifully blends old-fashioned Southern storytelling with tense political drama. Readers with an interest in American politics, fierce women, or family relationships will enjoy this novel, whose strongly developed characters and plot suspense will keep them from putting this book down until the very last page." —Shannon Marie Robinson for Library Journal
"Inman constructs a colorful world of southern politics marked by old-fashioned manners, questionable ethics, and pretentious names, then challenges that world with the installation of a female governor willing to take on the old regime ... An intriguing plotline balanced by meaningful and heartfelt introspection on family and ambition brings interest to this tale. Fans of political fiction will be especially engaged." —Cortney Ophoff for Booklist
"The Governor's Lady...moves at an intoxicating pace.  Inman is intimately familiar with the inner workings of the Southern political landscape and he takes this opportunity to examine the role women play in this old boy's club setting....Inman's keen descriptions of his characters make them easy to imagine....Inman's mastery of dialogue and the fast-paced, engaging story line make it well worth the read."  —ForeWord Reviews
"Inman knows the ins and outs of Southern family life and the ties it imposes even on those who rebel against it. In stark contrast to Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again, Inman's novel develops the theme that the Southerner never gets away. People with strong family connections will recognize whereof he speaks." --Library Journal
"Inman's sense of place is palpable; the people come off the page and slap you....Inman is a writer of ardent and prolific imagination."  --Pat Dowell, Washington Post Book World