Susanne Strong's Reviews > What Happened

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2017-five-star-books, must-read, favorites, audiobooks

5 Stars.
An Incredibly Emotional Memoir. I laughed, I cried (a lot) and I also smiled quite a bit. What can I say - except that I am Still with Her.

First, I had the honor of meeting Secretary Clinton (and her aide Huma Abedin) at HRC’s book signing last Saturday, September 16, 2017, in Brookfield, CT. I shook her hand and thanked her for her service to this country. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I will never forget it. That being said, obviously by my reading this, it’s pretty clear where I stand. However - I have no interest in getting into a political discussion with anyone over my review of this memoir - which is something I love about Goodreads - as it tends to stay above the political fray - so please don’t bring the negativity here.

In “What Happened” - Hillary Clinton chronicles her life, (including her childhood, her marriage and her career) and then explains what she believes happened in the 2016 election against Trump, including internal and external factors. She speaks of how she prepared for each debate and verbalizes what she thinks about Trump and the loss of the election and how it all affected her. And she does so in great detail.

What stood out for me was how personal the book was - I felt like HRC was talking to me. What I will say is this: she is in fact a real person (she reads mystery novels, does yoga and drinks Chardonnay). Secretary Clinton has quite the sense of humor. I laughed out loud quite a bit. As was expected, it was also quite emotional. At times, I cried. Her loss is felt deeply within these pages.

That being said, there is hope. In the words of Andra Day, one of my favorite singer songwriters (who is apparently one of Secretary Clinton’s as well):
“And I'll rise up
I'll rise like the day
I'll rise up
I'll rise unafraid
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again…”

I both read and listened to the audiobook of HRC’s memoir (simply because Hillary Rodman Clinton narrated it herself). Like I said, it felt like Secretary Clinton was talking to me, sitting in my living room - as if we were having a glass of wine and she was telling me her story. Having actually met her in person made that a little easier to imagine. Though right now the future seems bleak, I have hope that someday somehow that glass ceiling will break and that it will be because of HRC. And we will go Onward Together.

Published on Goodreads, Amazon and Twitter on 9.24.17.
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Reading Progress

September 17, 2017 – Started Reading
September 17, 2017 – Shelved
September 17, 2017 –
page 0
0.0%
September 17, 2017 –
page 73
14.26%
September 18, 2017 –
page 115
22.46%
September 20, 2017 –
page 231
45.12%
September 22, 2017 –
page 401
78.32%
September 23, 2017 – Finished Reading
September 24, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017-five-star-books
September 24, 2017 – Shelved as: must-read
September 24, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
September 24, 2017 – Shelved as: audiobooks

Comments Showing 1-50 of 113 (113 new)


message 1: by Bianca (new)

Bianca Let us know if there's anything in there that we don't already know or suspected ...


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

i can't believe i know someone who has met huma!!


Susanne Strong Bianca wrote: "Let us know if there's anything in there that we don't already know or suspected ..."

So far it's a book that explains the election and all about her life building up to it. You really get to know her, her thoughts and how she became who she is. It skips around some. She blatantly speaks her mind on Donald Trump and some of the things that happened during the course of the election cycle. I have laughed and cried - A LOT.


Susanne Strong paulie wrote: "i can't believe i know someone who has met huma!!"

It was AMAZING Paulie.. but then I already told you that! Both Secretary Clinton and Huma Abedin were just so very nice in person. What an experience! I will never forget it. :)


message 5: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Can not wait for the day the United States of America will have a woman President!


Susanne Strong Hazzie in the Attick. wrote: "Can not wait for the day the United States of America will have a woman President!"

Fingers crossed Hazzie!


Chrissie I am having to take this in little doses, not because I'm not enjoying it, but because I am and everything still is so raw and emotional given our current state of affairs. But, I really notice how intimately it's told and how she has allowed herself (perhaps finally) to be more open and vulnerable with this book. It's deeply personal and you get to see Hillary for the woman she is, not just as a political figure or candidate. Great review!


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

i returned to read full review (apart from yr updates). i like how yr personality is captured in yr words. i'm rather certain i may lose my ish (bawl) when reading this title.


Susanne Strong Christina wrote: "I am having to take this in little doses, not because I'm not enjoying it, but because I am and everything still is so raw and emotional given our current state of affairs. But, I really notice how..."

I completely understand Christina and so respect the way in which you need to read it in order to get through it. My heart broke over a nd over and I cried so hard throughout. Yet the times she made me laugh, I just laughed and laughed. Who knew how funny she could be?! Know that I am sending you a huge hug. We are stronger together and always will be!


message 10: by Nicole (new) - added it

Nicole Hibbard Can't wait to read


Susanne Strong paulie wrote: "i returned to read full review (apart from yr updates). i like how yr personality is captured in yr words. i'm rather certain i may lose my ish (bawl) when reading this title."

Thank you so much Paulie! This is obviously a very personal review, even though I tried not to make it personal, you know? It can't help but be personal. There were a lot of feelings tied up in this and I tried to leave most of them out of it...


Susanne Strong Nicole wrote: "Can't wait to read"

Looking forward to your thoughts Nicole!


message 13: by Mischenko (new)

Mischenko Sweet review. 💖😊


Norma * Traveling Sister Wonderful review, Susanne! I am so happy that the book was a 5 star read for you! I am so glad that you had an all around incredible experience! xo


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan Nice review, Susanne. Sounds like a great read. Actually, since HRC narrates the audiobook, I think I'd rather listen to it than read it. Thanks for the heads up on that!


Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* Awesome Review Susanne!


message 17: by LaDonna (new) - added it

LaDonna Susanne, I must admit to turning green with envy, as I read your review. I can only imagine what it was like to meet HRC. Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm not a listener. I'm a reader. But, listening to HRC read her own story, may be worth my consideration.


Kaceey - Traveling Sister Great review Susanne! Glad you enjoyed! Yeah to 5*!🤗


message 19: by Bianca (new)

Bianca Thanks for writing such a comprehensive review. It's great that you got to meet her. I was depressed AF when the pschyco won.


Brenda - Traveling Sister Excellent review Susanne! I am so glad to see this was such a great experience for you meeting Hillary Clinton and reading/listening to her book!


message 21: by Margitte (new) - added it

Margitte Love our review! Looking forward to reading the book.


message 22: by Renata (new)

Renata Ditto! I ,too, love your review - both your personal voice and hearing how much the book felt like a conversation. It appalled me so often to hear people talk about her like she was a two-dimensional political "figure" Sounds like a great listen.


message 23: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Masterson Wonderful review, Susanne! That's so awesome you got to see her in Brookfield! Now I regret that I didn't go. I love HRC.


message 24: by Susan (new)

Susan I must read this. Here in the UK nobody really understood why she was so disliked. She had to have been better than, well....


message 25: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Susanne , terrific review. Awesome that you met her ! No arguments from me . I've been depressed since last November.


message 26: by Taryn (new) - added it

Taryn Excellent review, Susanne! It's so amazing that you met her! I'm not sure if I'm ready for this book yet (I still get anxiety thinking about that night!), but it sounds like such a worthwhile read.


message 27: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Another incredible and heartfelt review, my friend. How exciting that you got to meet HCR! I'm adding this one to my list. Maybe I'll do the audio since she narrates it. Thanks for the heads-up. 😊


message 28: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Wonderful review, Susanne!


Donna Great review! I'm making my way through this as we speak. It's painful and cathartic at the same time.


Susanne Strong Mischenko wrote: "Sweet review. 💖😊"

Thanks so much!


Susanne Strong Norma wrote: "Wonderful review, Susanne! I am so happy that the book was a 5 star read for you! I am so glad that you had an all around incredible experience! xo"

Thanks so much Norma! It was amazing!


Susanne Strong Susan wrote: "Nice review, Susanne. Sounds like a great read. Actually, since HRC narrates the audiobook, I think I'd rather listen to it than read it. Thanks for the heads up on that!"

Thanks Susan! That is why I ended up listening to the audio and also reading a bit.. Hearing her voice.. listening to her words.. it was amazing!! I highly recommend it. I am so looking forward to your thoughts on it my friend. Though it was an emotional read, given how we all still feel, I think it was an important one and it brings us together, you know?


Susanne Strong Mary wrote: "Awesome Review Susanne!"

Thanks Mary!


message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Very nice coming from the heart review Susanne. I agree with you about Goodreads and staying away from the fray on a lot of issues. That's why I'm on here as well. Plus good friends and books. I'm glad you enjoyed this book


message 35: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn Fantastic review! I am reading it right now and am enjoying it immensely. If only some of her detractors would open up their minds enough to read this book, maybe they might change their minds a bit. Their unreasonable hatred is mind boggling.
That said, this book only makes me admire her more.


Susanne Strong LaDonna wrote: "Susanne, I must admit to turning green with envy, as I read your review. I can only imagine what it was like to meet HRC. Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm not a listener. I'm a reader. Bu..."

It was incredible LaDonna! I have a pic with Huma and of the signed books of course, but I admit to not knowing how to add photos to my reviews :-( otherwise I would post them. We weren't allowed to get or take photos with Secretary Clinton unfortunately, but meeting her was enough. You should check online to see if her book tour will be in a city near you! I get wanting to read v. listen - I read more than listen myself, as I did both in this instance, but this was different.. hearing her voice.. listening to her, it was so intense. So worthwhile. I'd love to get your take on it.. Anyhow, let me know. :)


message 37: by Tziggy (new)

Tziggy Excellent review! She has had a remarkable life in which she has dealt with all of her trials with grace and dignity.


Susanne Strong Kaceey wrote: "Great review Susanne! Glad you enjoyed! Yeah to 5*!🤗"

Thanks Kaceey!


Susanne Strong Bianca wrote: "Thanks for writing such a comprehensive review. It's great that you got to meet her. I was depressed AF when the pschyco won."

Thank you! I am still just as depressed... I think a lot of us are Bianca.. but what can we do - breathe and go forward together.


Susanne Strong Brenda wrote: "Excellent review Susanne! I am so glad to see this was such a great experience for you meeting Hillary Clinton and reading/listening to her book!"

Thanks so much Brenda! It was incredible! SO moving and exciting at the same time.


Susanne Strong Margitte wrote: "Love our review! Looking forward to reading the book."

Thanks Margitte! I can't wait for you to read it! This is such a controversial book you know and it has gotten such mixed reviews.. people have "pre-reviewed" it, which is silly. I want to hear from people who have read it, and who care about this nation and want to know "What Happened" - thus I can't want to hear your thoughts! Though it is an emotional read, it is worth it!


message 42: by Jaime (new)

Jaime I love your review Susanne. I am excited to read this one.


Susanne Strong Renata wrote: "Ditto! I ,too, love your review - both your personal voice and hearing how much the book felt like a conversation. It appalled me so often to hear people talk about her like she was a two-dimension..."

Thank you so very much Renata! It was such a heartfelt memoir.. at times it broke me, yet at times, it made me laugh out loud, silly.. You really get to know HRC here and it is absolutely wonderful. No holds barred. I too agree with you about people's thoughts of her and it bothered me to no end! She is a person, with thoughts, feelings and a lot of character. Loved it! And I hope you do too! I can't wait to hear your thoughts!


Susanne Strong Jennifer wrote: "Wonderful review, Susanne! That's so awesome you got to see her in Brookfield! Now I regret that I didn't go. I love HRC."

Awwh! Sorry you could't get there Jennifer! It was an amazing experience. I had to wait 4 hours in line in the hot sun just to meet her (during which time I met Huma and got a picture (I would post it but I don't know how to post images on GR.. silly me!) and then I met Secretary Clinton) and then I had to wait another hour for the signed copy of her books (What Happened and It Takes a Village) - it was TOTALLY worth it.. I met some amazing people and we were all just overly excited.. Best Experience Ever.


Susanne Strong Susan wrote: "I must read this. Here in the UK nobody really understood why she was so disliked. She had to have been better than, well...."

Its so interesting to hear that from you Susan! With everything going on where you are with Brexit and everything! My mom lives in England and she too felt the same way.. but still. I would love to here your thoughts after reading HRC's memoir.. everything is in such upheaval everywhere it seems..


Susanne Strong Angela M wrote: "Susanne , terrific review. Awesome that you met her ! No arguments from me . I've been depressed since last November."

Thanks so much Angela! I feel the same way. It is very sad to see how quickly things have changed in this country and it is hard to have hope though if we don't have hope, we have nothing.


Susanne Strong Taryn wrote: "Excellent review, Susanne! It's so amazing that you met her! I'm not sure if I'm ready for this book yet (I still get anxiety thinking about that night!), but it sounds like such a worthwhile read."

Thanks Taryn! It was one of the best days of my life! I get that you might not be ready for it. It was so emotional. I cried and cried.. especially during the times I listened to her audiobook and heard her voice and she talked about her feelings.. yet the times she said funny things, about "him" - oh how I laughed. She didn't hold back. My heart is still broken, but I want to believe.. I have to believe. For her.


message 48: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol I loved your heartfelt review, Susanne. And, I envy you getting to meet Hillary in person. I was devastated when she lost. Now, I wonder what they would have put her through as our president. I plan to listen to her book.


Susanne Strong Melissa wrote: "Another incredible and heartfelt review, my friend. How exciting that you got to meet HCR! I'm adding this one to my list. Maybe I'll do the audio since she narrates it. Thanks for the heads-up. 😊"

Thank you so very much Melissa! It was simply amazing.. everyone there was smiling from ear to ear. The audio was really good... she took us on her own personal journey.. how she got where she is now. I loved it. I so hope you will too. My eyes well up with tears just thinking about it. I cannot wait for your review my friend!


Susanne Strong Meredith wrote: "Wonderful review, Susanne!"

Thanks Meredith!


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