Kaira Rouda’s husband, Harley, may have recently been elected to Congress, but she isn’t looking to make a name for herself just as a politician’s wife.
The California Democrat’s other half, an entrepreneur and best-selling author, released her second traditionally published novel on Tuesday, “The Favorite Daughter.” The “Gone Girl”-style domestic suspense novel follows Jane, a narcissistic perfectionist dealing with the death of her daughter. Like her first major work, “Best Day Ever,” the book takes place in Southern California, where the Roudas have resided for the past 10 years. But now that the family is splitting their time between SoCal and the District, will the nation’s capital serve as the backdrop for her next work?
“We’ve only been here five months,” the author said at her book-launch party Monday night, explaining that it takes a while for her surroundings to spark inspiration. “But I do find there to be a lot of interesting fodder here.”
Don’t expect a Real Housewives-style tell-all spilling the tea on the spouses of Capitol Hill, however — Rouda insists she’s received a warm welcome into Washington society.
“I guess that’s what’s been the most surprising to me, how kind and welcoming everybody is,” Rouda said of the political scene. “Because if you just watch the news you would think that would be the opposite.”
And the Roudas seem to be settling in nicely. The party for “The Favorite Daughter” was held at the townhouse of John Delaney, one of Harley’s former constituents, who also happens to be making a 2020 run. While the presidential hopeful and former Maryland Democratic representative was off hitting the campaign trail in Ohio, his wife April McClain-Delaney practiced some first lady duties by playing hostess to Rouda and her newfound friends, including Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Lisa McGovern; Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Patti Garamendi; former Texas Republican congressman Pete Sessions and Karen Sessions; Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.); Vlora Citaku, the ambassador of Kosovo; and Albanian Ambassador Floreta Faber.
“There are spouses of both parties here,” Rouda said. “Everybody’s been really great about supporting this book launch and supporting the spouses [of the freshman class of Congress] who are new and have no idea what we’re doing.”