Friday, October 10, 2008

77. American Wife

by Curtis Sittenfeld
Rated about 3 Stars - maybe
From: Library

I still haven't made up my mind what I think of it. The story is based on Laura Bush and it was obvious that the author admires her and definitely does not admire her husband. It was, or my take on it was, that this was an attempt to explain why such a nice woman loves such a jerk and sticks by him when (according to this book) she hates everything he stands for politically.

It would have been a very interesting book had it not been based on the Bush's but that part was hard for me to get past. There are so many things about the lives of these fictional characters that are are a matter of public record as happening to the Bush's and then some pretty controversial things attributed to the fictional character that are not a matter of record that I think some readers will not draw a distinction between what is fact and what is fiction. Unless this was written with the cooperation or permission of Laura Bush then I think that it was an invasion of her privacy. So at the end I was left hanging about whether or not I liked it.

And heaven knows how hard it is for me to defend the Bush's. *LOL* But the fact is that I have never had a problem with Laura herself.

Copied from Amazon:

From Bookmarks Magazine
While critics couldn’t say for sure whether or not Sittenfeld captures the exact thoughts of Laura Bush, they did agree that she creates a realistic and highly sympathetic portrayal of the (soon-to-be former) First Lady. (The author supposedly based the novel on Ann Gerhart’s 2004 biography, The Perfect Wife: The Life and Choices of Laura Bush.) Sittenfeld asks provoking questions about marriage, loyalty, and responsibility. But many reviewers couldn’t fundamentally understand why the very decent Alice had supported her husband despite her doubts about his capabilities; Sittenfeld’s pat, unsatisfactory answer is that Alice leads a life “in opposition.” That, combined with the author’s obvious contempt for Charlie, brought the reviews down a notch. Still, there’s nothing as titillating as a look, albeit fictional, inside the White House—especially during an election year.
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