Chicklit's Reviews > American Wife

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 14, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: 2008
Read in September, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I'm a recent fan of Curtis Sittenfeld. I hadn't read any of her work until I read Prep, but once I finished it, I wanted to read everything she wrote. I was doubly intrigued when I found out that the protagonist of American Wife is a very thinly veiled Laura Bush.

For the most part, I enjoyed American Wife. The first three sections were so engaging that I never wanted to put the book down. Alice Blackwell is the kind of character you wish were real. I found myself feeling like I were in her kitchen, listening to her stories over a cup of coffee. The Alice Blackwell in these sections is a woman that is wonderfully complex and interesting. The real magic is that all the hype about the character being modeled after Laura Bush completely disappeared.

However, that complexity gets lost in the last section. If there was any doubt that Alice is Laura and that Charlie is George W, it gets thrown out the window immediately as Sittenfeld presents the Blackwells with the same history as the Bushes: the controversial 2000 election, the terrorist attacks, the failed war, even a grieving father that protests the war by camping outside the White House. At that point, I feel the book lost some of its magic for me. The prose got much more expository and the story turned heavy handed. I wish the story and its characters had maintained the same complexities it did in its earlier sections.
78 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read American Wife.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

05/02/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13)

dateUp arrow    newest »

jessica I agree 100% with your review! I loved the first three sections and had to make myself push through the last bit.

Ilona I would have said EXACTLY what you did in your review. I was thoroughly disappointed that Sittendfield had NO imagination at the end and stole from recent history. Too bad.

Meredith Agree agree agree!!!

message 10: by Jean (new) - rated it 1 star

Jean Also agree!

Petra Agree, the last part should have been skipped...

Lauren You took the words right out of my mouth!! I loved the book up until the very last section.

Gretchen Completely agree! The last section is much weaker than the rest of the book.

Natalie I also agree! These last hundred pages are hard to get through~

Anne Totally agree, I stormed through most of the book but struggled with the last part.

Monica Me too. I'm also left with questions about how much of it happened to LB. While I feel I appreciate her situation I'm not sure if I like or respect her.

Heidi Thank you!! I will now feel the freedom to not finish it. I liked the beginning fine, but it's laborious at this point at the end, and I have other books I want to read.

Tiffany Spot on!

message 1: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann Absolutely! The first 3 parts drew me along with its plots, realistic detail and characters, and introspection
Then blam, a treatise on politics written in a sporadic helter skelter diatribe. So sorry.

back to top