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Friday, November 14, 2008

American Wife...Review

About the book:
A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown, she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege. And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with–and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband’s presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.

While it has its interesting moments, this was one of those books that disappointed me and one I really struggled to finish. I'm not quite sure what I expected, but it wasn't this.

I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it were a true work of fiction, with characters completely created from the author's imagination. There are some bibliographical references at the end of the novel about the books which inspired her to write this piece of work. The main character is modeled after Laura Bush, and while the author admits this, I wish she'd just written a biography about Mrs. Bush, rather than some thinly disguised piece of fiction. She's also modeled the Blackwell family after the Bush family, including the President, and having read several Bush biographies, I can definitely see her similarities.

I have always liked Laura Bush, and I'd certainly rather read a real biography/autobiography than a fictionalized one. While I'm sure this wasn't authorized or approved by Mrs. Bush, if it was me, I certainly wouldn't be happy knowing it was "based" on my life.

The book has moderate profanity and too many unnecessary s*x scenes, all of which are far too detailed and most are not necessary to the story line.

And the cover photo has nothing to do with the book. Nothing. At. All. Overall, a disappointment.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 11/08

1/5 Stars


  1. I've read good and bad reviews about this one. Sorry to hear it was a disappointment.

  2. Thank you for your reviews here to save me time and effort. I appreciate the sacrifice of your own time to do this for us out here.

  3. Gotta ask. Why go on reading? The reason I asked is you have stopped reading a book you didn't like, so why not stop reading this one? In other words, what kept you going?

    As you can see, I am on the fence about reading this one. :)

  4. J. Kaye, I guess I kept thinking it would get better, as others have done. It wasn't a terrible book, I think my expectations were just different.

  5. Holly, that explains a lot. I do want to add this. Even a not so positive review can interest readers. I've read glowing reviews of this book and was turned off. It's your review that has me interested now. I know how strange that sounds...lol! But it's true. :)

    Thank you for sharing. I really appreciate it!!

  6. J. Kaye, this is one of the reasons I've always tried to be completely honest in my reviews. Some books that I have absolutely loved, others haven't. And books that I haven't liked, others have. I believe that our individual perspectives and experiences affect how we view everything in life, including books.

    If you do read it, I'll be curious to see your review!

  7. I read this one earlier this summer and I came away with a similar feeling. It was an oldly interesting concept...Fiction masquarding as a memoir. The actual book however, was VERY dull. The heroine (her name escapes me) seemed agreeable to a fault and almost everything that happened to her seemed be almost an accident. I wondered if Laura Bush read it and what she thought of this portrayal of herself.

  8. I totally agree with you. I really didn't enjoy this book!

  9. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one, Holly. I have had it for a while in my TBR (to be reviewed) pile, but haven't gotten to it yet. It's not a very short book to now enjoy either!

  10. That's too bad. I really liked Prep (by Curtis Sittenfeld), but can see that she runs fast and loose with the language and the sex in her books. That being said, I wanted to get around to eventually reading this (probably when it came out in paperback), but now I don't think I'll bother.