Jenny's Reviews > American Wife

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
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's review
Oct 27, 2008

it was amazing
Read in September, 2008

This is one of the most thought-provoking and absorbing books I have read in a while. (I'm pretty sure I thought about it in my sleep.) First, there's the fact that it's loosely based on the life of Laura Bush; second, there's the fact that Curtis Sittenfeld has a staggering talent for making characters absolutely real (even when they aren't real already; see PREP).

Sittenfeld gives so much insight into Alice Blackwell, and when you, as the reader, understand in such a close and detailed way what "Alice" is thinking and how she is feeling, it's nearly impossible not to be as sympathetic as the author. It's really, truly, mind-opening (thinking, of course, of Laura Bush). The book is set around four distinct phases in Alice's life; it skips over the time when Charlie Blackwell is governor, before he becomes president. I would have gladly read another 100 or 200 pages describing this period - and, except for cases where I feel the end has been rushed, I rarely feel that books should be longer than they are.
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