Leslie's Reviews > American Wife

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
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Mar 25, 09

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It has been years since I have finished a book and immediately felt such a strong sense of loss that my time with the main character is over. Curtis Sittenfeld's portrait of Alice Blackwell, inspired by the life of Laura Bush, is richer and realer than anything I've read in a very long time. The bulk of the book is about her life before the White House instead of her time in it, with a spectacularly written section about the car accident that shaped young Alice's life. The final chapters that cover her time as First Lady were my least favorite of the novel, but I believe Sittenfeld intended it that way. She takes such great care to craft Alice's life and allow us to understand exactly how and why she has become who she is. Once she becomes First Lady, she remains the Alice that we already know and no one else. She felt like a dear friend to me by the end. Maybe I'll fill the void by reading more about Laura Bush, about whom I'd rarely had a thought cross my mind before reading this novel--perhaps because I'm a fairly flaming liberal. Despite the fact that it is indeed fiction, albeit fiction very informed by biographical study and actual facts, it has made me become interested to learn more about the life of Laura Bush.
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03/18/2009 page 100

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message 1: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen Every word of your review reflects my feelings after reading this book. There were times when it was almost scary how much kinship I felt for Alice. And I too was hesitant to read about anything republican. This was just a beautiful book.

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