I saw this book reviewed in TIME Magazine in September, it was published in 2008. Then suddenly I needed a book to review for a group meeting a few days before the election so without knowing much more I chose this book.
It is based on the author’s conjecture of First Lady Laura Bush’s life and the author’s fictional ideas about her thoughts and ideas.
Curtis Sittenfeld is a woman, one must add Elizabeth to her personal name, because this is her middle and surname as she author’s books. She is very young and has won several awards for her two previously written novels, one when she was 17.
Sittenfeld does say that one will be able to identify some of the characters in the story because they are caricatures of actual White House Staff and people we have heard about in the news over the last few years.
There is not a great deal of political analysis until the ending sections of the book and that is because the story is about how Alice, (the Laura Bush representative) the star of the story, tries to remain politically uninvolved in her life. It is more the shaping of her life which brings her to her present position and the author’s intriguing questions Alice contemplates near the end of the President’s Term.
Remember how you felt when you figured out that your parents must have had intercourse to produce you? “Oooo… icky – not my parents! “ Well, the numerous sexual encounters may sell books and lots of books but it was kind of Oooo…icky – too much information, if you thought about it in terms of the real people and I wonder if it is not too much activity for this group I am leading- to overwhelm?
This is a good read and an amazing series of questions to contemplate and think about, presented by a very skilled writer.
I also read in a magazine in the airport that they only expect 56% of married women to vote and then 80% of those will vote the same as their husbands. This makes the Alice character even more “real” to me and more amazing that she is focused on her retrospective questions in the final segments.
I could only hope and wish it were true. A fast fun read – very interesting as we approach the US Election Day.
Hope you will take the time to read this and confront your own thinking about elections and outcomes.
Let me know. I look forward to hearing from you… Please comment.