Wow. One of the best books I've read this year.
Just forget what you might have heard about this book being a mirror of the life of Laura Bush (it is, but ...), it's really about the life of one woman, and purely on its own merits as a novel, it’s moving, thoughtful and wonderfully wrought.
The author gives Alice (and Charlie) complexity, hopes and fears — and lives, even if their lives aren’t like ours. She empathetically details the burdens and isolation of being famous, the doubts and regrets people carry with them through their lives, and the challenges that married couples face over the years. Sweeping and at the same time intensely personal, “American Wife” explores the most intimate parts of Alice’s life and marriage with a piercing realism that captures the height and depth of emotions without ever straying into melodrama.
It’s one of those rare books that when you have to put it down for a while, you wonder what the characters are doing while you’re gone. And when you put it down for good, it’s like saying farewell to a dear friend.