Sharp, observant, and unsentimental, "All the Houses" is both a political drama and a domestic one. A woman returns home to D.C. to help her ailing father, who was an official in the Reagan administration and was tainted by the Iran-Contra affair. The narrative shuttles back and forth between 2004 and the 1980s, exploring strained family relationships, questionable politics, and the overlap between the two. This will be of special interest to those you remember the shadiness of Iran-Contra, which is always left out of the heroic Reagan narrative. And Reagan does exist here as a kind of benevolent, but potentially dangerous father figure. There are few strong political novels and this is a welcome change to that.

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