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Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  22,833 ratings  ·  1,947 reviews
Funny and poignant personal stories and reflections from former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush.

Born into a political dynasty, Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up in the public eye. As small children, they watched their grandfather become president; just twelve years later they stood by their father's side when he took the same oath. They spent their co
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Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Published October 24th 2017 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  22,833 ratings  ·  1,947 reviews


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Myrna
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick fun read. I was pleasantly surprised by the Bush daughters' caring, honest, and funny stories. Their love for each other and their family really shines through in this one. ...more
Candy
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bush twins come off as likeable, intelligent women... interesting for the inside scoop on their lives in the White House.
Jean
This memoir by the fraternal Bush twins has the forward by their mother, Laura Bush. Jenna Bush Hager is a correspondent for NBC’s Today Show and Barbara Pierce Bush is CEO and founder of Global Health Corps.

They discuss their early life in Midland Texas and attending high school in Austin, Texas when their father was Governor. They tell about life in the Governor’s Mansion and in the White House.

The book is full of heartwarming anecdotes as well as humorous ones. The reader gets a glimpse into
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Cammie
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy stories that share the real lives of famous people, showing them to be just like you and me. I also like books about life in the White House. Sisters First combines both of these elements.
Ever since Jenna Bush Hager joined the Today Show as a host, I have really liked her. The memoir Sisters First by Jenna and her twin sister Barbara shows them to be real and relatable. Their childhood memories, teenage troubles, college mishaps, and adult dilemmas are the stories many can relate
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Mary Eve
Jenna and Barbara take turns telling stories about growing up in the Bush household, the Texas governor's mansion, and their years as First Daughters. Funny anecdotes from both made me smile. The best thing was getting to know the President through his intelligent, articulate daughters. The love and respect they have for one another is the best thing about this audio book. The entire Bush clan becomes real and appear to be every bit as normal as my own family. Whatever your opinions, once you he ...more
Riva Sciuto
As a lover of presidential history, I've always been intrigued by the lives of the First Families. So I really enjoyed the insights Jenna and Barbara share in their memoir. It was surprisingly deep at times: they reveal the lifelong guilt their mother, Laura Bush, has felt since she ran a stop sign at 17 and killed her high school classmate; Barbara talks -- openly and honestly -- about her high school boyfriend who hanged himself; and they both open up about the way their father's decision to g ...more
Elena
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was never interested in the lives of President George Bush's twins while he was in office. I'd see them in the tabloids every now and then for some underage drinking fiasco but for the most part, wasn't interested. But when I saw this book at the airport a few months ago, I was curious what they had to say. After all, they were born and raised in a political dynasty, so they were bound to have a few larger-than-life memories. Sure enough, this memoir, told in alternating voices of the twins, i ...more
Carla
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I've always enjoyed Jenna Bush Hager on the Today show.
Both Barbara and Jenna wrote chapters on their memories/feelings as growing up as twin sisters and being part of the Bush family.
I found this to be an easy, interesting read.
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Matt
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just visited the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas during Spring Break a couple weeks ago. When I got home and went to my local library, this book, written by Jenna and Barbara Bush (George W.’s and Laura’s twin daughters) was right there on the first shelf I came to, so the timing was good, and my interest was piqued.

Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up as the granddaughter of a former President, and then their dad was President. Imagine what kind of a world that would have been to grow
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Jennifer Melnyk
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book. I laughed out loud (much to the dismay of my co-workers, since I read this book at work) and teared up when I read Barbara's recollection of losing Ganny. This was not a political book, but rather a remembrance of a shared life that was surrounded by politics.

I have always admired the Bush twins, and felt sorry for them when the media scrutinized their indiscretions over the years. I have always been thankful that I didn't have to grow up in the spotlight, to have my less-than-s
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Jessica
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All my reviews can be found at: http://jessicasreadingroom.com
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Born into the Bush dynasty, Barbara and Jenna Bush were never going to have a normal life, despite their parents attempting that very fact. And their parents succeeded in that as much as possible. From the moment they were born they were in the public eye and will continue to be.

I am one year older than them, so I really enjoyed this memoir that both ladies co-wrote. Being the same age and growing up at the same time as them, I id
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Author Annabelle Leigha
The only thing I didn't like about this book was the way it ended. I feel like I hit a brick wall. It just stopped. :( ...more
Kim
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
This was a quick and pleasant read. The Bush twins, Barbara and Jenna, take turns sharing family stories -- frank, sometimes humorous, sometimes touching. This is not a tell-all book. You get a sense of who the girls are and how they developed into likeable, caring and well-adjusted adults, despite growing up under the public eye as the children and grandchildren of U.S. Presidents. And always, the love they have for each other and their family comes through. It's heart-warming without being ove ...more
Ankur
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to love this book. The chapters were alternating short vignettes, shifting from Jenna's perspective to Barbara's.... but none of the vignettes really went in depth. In the section about living in the white house, one of the sister's mention that showing around the Obama girls was their favourite moment in that house. I wish we had gotten an in depth story about that, rather than the one sentence.

Having said all that, I did enjoy spending time with the Bush sisters and their colo
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Nancyann
Jan 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Take this book for what it is, ragged and disjointed stories from two young, entitled women who were raised in an affluent political family. If you are a fan of the Bush family then it will be an enjoyable read otherwise you will see it as a poorly written book, told from the POVs of Barbara and Jenna. A problem that is perhaps peculiar to me, I hate when adults refer in pubic to their parents/grandparents by cute nicknames. You can tell us once that you called grandfather George H. W. Bush "Gam ...more
Becca
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I never thought I would have any interest in the Bush twins, but on recommendation from a friend I picked this book up. I can safely say after finishing the book, I’m a fan! The stories they tell in this book are absolutely amazing! They share everything you want to know and things you didn’t realize you wanted to know! The book is beautifully written and a definite read if you are looking for a good memoir! Including intimate stories of their family and events that happened on the world stage, ...more
Saralyn Richard
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this memoir, especially the dual points of view provided in alternating chapters. The close thread tying the twins to one another is evident throughout, but there are as many differences between the sisters as there are similarities, so their stories were quite distinct. I was also struck by the realization that presidential families, up until recently, are bound in a sort of fraternal relationship with one another, wholly apart from political party or philosophical differences ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
I have been trying to balance my political reading a little more, trying to understand the conservative perspective more without reading things that I thought may make me want to beat my head against a walk, so when I saw this at the library, I grabbed it, thinking it should be benign enough to fit the bill, and benign it definitely was. While I did enjoy reading about their impressions of their former Presidents/ dad and grandfather as humans versus politiicans (and to be fair, the book truly d ...more
Laurene
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Completely pleasantly surprised by this book. I was looking for something easy, simple and mindless to read. But what I ended up reading was something insightful and thought provoking.

"It is a reminder that in any debate there are humans on all sides."

"Be true to your heart. It's harder than ever to talk about politics these days. If you love someone, sharing different political views shouldn't be seen as a personal betrayal. Rather, it's a chance to hear and consider your loved one's point
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Rachel
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow! I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would. I listened to Jenna and Barbara read this on audio and it was sincere, funny, heartwarming, and interesting! It was fascinating to hear about their childhood, time in the White House, political views, and --most of all--their sisterly bond.
Anita
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful stories of sisterhood being a twin and growing up very normal in a very political family. Full review soon. Thank you Grand Central Publishing for a copy of this book. Loved it.
Abby Deane
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is definitely worth the short, easy read. I love the structure and the fact it reminds you there are people behind any public figure, but not in that cheesy “let’s all be friends even if my political party hates you” kind of way.

“Why aren’t you married?”
“If I wanted to be married, I would be.”
Amy
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Being a twin, especially one who lines far from her sis now, this book resonated with me. I so enjoyed listening to the book in the authors voices and loved how perfectly imperfect they allowed the reader to see them. Always enjoy the peek into life In the White House, especially from the view of a teenager/ young adult. Very enjoyable book.
Kailyn Tauber
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2021
Why do I love Jenna Bush Hager so much? No one knows, but I loved every minute of this book.

Heartwarming, funny, and definitely teared up at the end. 💕
Mom
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading about the Bush family. They are a tight knit family that support one another, love one another and enjoy being together.
Sunny Welker
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely insight into these two sisters. Equal parts insight into celebrity and real life. I find their honesty refreshing. Reminding is that politicians are real people and their families are not bound to believe as their politician parent believes. I enjoyed the listen.
Angela
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-nonfiction
I'm not a political person, but I was really looking forward to reading this book. In Sisters First, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush take turns writing short essays about memories from their lives.

I found there to be a distinct difference in their writing. Barbara's essays were more thoughtful and contemplative, such as her feelings about a high school classmate's suicide and some of her college experiences. Jenna's were more straightforward and familiar, such as when she talks about m
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Janell
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read this book mostly because I enjoyed Jenna Bush Hager on the Today Show ... but I actually enjoyed the book far more than I expected. Jenna's vibrancy in telling a story on television shines through in her book as her stories of growing up in Texas will repeatedly make the reader smile. I found Jenna and her sister Barbara to be real people with experiences that weren't much different than our own, even though they were living in the spotlight much of their lives, as the daughters ...more
Gail
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot. Each sister took turns reading it (the Bush twins). It was all very interesting! Their childhood, going to Maine every summer with their extended family, the senior Bushes--George and Barbara, the college years, etc. There was only one thing that bothered me. Jenna had been teaching school when some TV stations started recruiting her. She initially wasn't interested because the press had been somewhat of a plague in their lives so why would she want to be part of it? B ...more
Andrea
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe 3.75 but I enjoyed this glimpse into the Bush family. They seem like a bunch of mensches really, a close family, intellectual and sweet. They love baseball, rocky beach towns, books, writing letters. Because they aren't Jewish, they scold each other with a hard look rather than loud words, which is so foreign to me. I never knew about Robin, and of course ended up googling to read more. So sad. I was cracking up at Jenna going into labor at her shower.

The only thing is they were pretty ins
...more
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Jenna Bush Hager is a co-host on NBC’s TODAY Show and an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope, written after she served as an intern with UNICEF in Latin America. She also co-authored the children’s books Our Great Big Backyard and Read All About It! with her mother. She lives with her husband and two daught ...more

Articles featuring this book

Famous people! Are they really just like us? In the case of these individuals, the answer is a resounding yes when it comes to loving...
232 likes · 178 comments
“Mother-daughter relationships can be complicated and fraught with the effects of moments from the past. My mom knew this and wanted me to know it too. On one visit home, I found an essay from the Washington Post by the linguistics professor Deborah Tannen that had been cut out and left on my desk. My mom, and her mom before her, loved clipping newspaper articles and cartoons from the paper to send to Barbara and me. This article was different. Above it, my mom had written a note: “Dear Benny”—I was “Benny” from the time I was a toddler; the family folklore was that when we were babies, a man approached my parents, commenting on their cute baby boys, and my parents played along, pretending our names were Benjamin and Beauregard, later shorted to Benny and Bo.
In her note, my mom confessed to doing many things that the writer of this piece had done: checking my hair, my appearance. As a teenager, I was continually annoyed by some of her requests: comb your hair; pull up your jeans (remember when low-rise jeans were a thing? It was not a good look, I can assure you!). “Your mother may assume it goes without saying that she is proud of you,” Deborah Tannen wrote. “Everyone knows that. And everyone probably also notices that your bangs are obscuring your vision—and their view of your eyes. Because others won’t say anything, your mother may feel it’s her obligation to tell you.” In leaving her note and the clipping, my mom was reminding me that she accepted and loved me—and that there is no perfect way to be a mother. While we might have questioned some of the things our mother said, we never questioned her love.”
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“A kind man once told me that in Japan, broken pottery is pieced back together using gold as the glue, highlighting the cracks, making them beautiful. And maybe that could be my heart—hurt and healed, but filled with gold because I’d known Kyle.” 4 likes
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