Cassandra Devine is elated when, as a 17-year-old, straight-A high school senior, she gets her acceptance letter from Yale University. What she hasn't counted on: her father spending her tuition money on a dot-com startup ... and it failing. To help her out, dad gets her college acceptance deferred and talks to an Army recruiter for Cassandra. "You give them two years and they pay your tuition. Give them three and they pay for everything."
So Cassandra finds herself in the U.S. Army working public affairs in Bosnia. That's how she meets Congressman Randolph Jefferson, who gets his leg blown off as they drive through a minefield after dinner. Their lives were entwined forevermore.
Booted from the Army, with no tuition money offered, Cassandra is working PR in DC, writing a blog on the side, when Boomsday hits - the day the first of the Baby Boom generation comes of age to begin collecting their Social Security retirement. Cassandra is incensed that her generation, the under-30s, are being burdened with this to-be-snowballing Social Security debt. She lets out her anger in her blog, rallying her generation to rage against retirement homes and golf courses. They do.
Her father, now rich and remarried, bribes Yale to accept and education his under-achieving stepson: this is Cassandra's tipping point. She goes after her dad's generation by suggesting Social Security offer Baby Boomers a bonus for committing suicide at 65 (with an additional bonus if they opt for 62.) Now-Senator Randy Jefferson takes this up as a campaign issue in his presidential bid.
Buckley likes to wrap things up in his epilogues. Not giving anything away, I unfortunately think this book's ending is a cop-out.
I've read a couple of Buckley's other books, but this is the first I've listened to on CD. It seemed to go on forever. Turns out Boomsday is 336 pages, while Thank You for Smoking was 288 and Florence of Arabia was 272. It doesn't just seem long; it is long!