Last week, I read American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, otherwise known as the fictionalized Laura Bush story… if Laura Bush were from Wisconsin instead of Texas, and George W. Bush bought the Milwaukee Brewers instead of the Houston Astros.
I guess I wasn’t the only one that noticed. Actually, Sittenfeld acknowledges that she wrote this book to display her Democratic admiration for the former First Lady.
I should preface this by saying that I didn’t go into this book knowing it was LB’s story she wish she had. I mean, I was reading and reading, and loving it. I described one part to E, and he said, “Oh, just like Laura Bush.” And I looked at him incredulously and thought, “Oh. Yeah.”
But once that piece of information was available to me, I enjoyed the book, only slightly, less. There are greater parts of this book that are just good fiction. How would Sittenfeld know what LB was feeling the moment she (if this happened in her life) went on a blind date? She doesn’t, but she makes you believe in Alice and Charlie and their dream of just living a nice life together with presidency far from their minds.
It’s captivating. Alice is very likable, as is Charlie. The world isn’t perfect. People aren’t perfect. This book is about a relationship and a family. It is not a political commentary. I would still recommend it, although now you know it’s inspired by LB, and try not to hold anything against the book. It’s worth the read.
I give it a 3 out of 5.