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American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

American Wife (2009)

by Curtis Sittenfeld

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6891992,205 (3.67)213
  1. 21
    Primary Colors by Joe Klein (Voracious_Reader)
    Voracious_Reader: Satire of the Clinton's.
  2. 00
    A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter (charl08)
  3. 00
    Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin (Voracious_Reader)
    Voracious_Reader: Thinly veiled satire of famous British royals (Charles and Di).
  4. 00
    The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: One of Stout's examples seems to be a not-so-thinly veiled George B. Interesting to read the nonfictional (but speculative) & fictional portrayals together.
  5. 00
    The Perfect Wife by Ann Gerhart (batesharbuck)
    batesharbuck: It might be nice to compare the American Wife to the real person

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Showing 1-5 of 202 (next | show all)
A loosely based story on Laura Bush's life. I did not know much of anything about her and I would be curious to read other biographical books about her to see the differences.
The White House years were a very small part of the overall book and it seemed that something was missing because of this. ( )
  Katyefk | Jun 11, 2017 |
This book could have been 100 pages shorter. ( )
  sarahjvigen | Mar 23, 2017 |
Great read. A little less interesting once he becomes president. But I devoured it until then, in one weekend. Laundry remained unfolded, but that's nothing new, is it? Can't wait to read more Sittenfeld. I forgot the wonder of reading. ( )
  bookscentlover | Mar 13, 2017 |
This is the story of Alice a quiet girl from rural America. It started well but I stopped reading when the author decided that explicit sexual details added to the story when it did the opposite. If I want to read something which is almost pornographic then there are plenty of alternatives which don't pretend to be novels.

I will not be reading this author again if this is what they think passes for literature. ( )
  Northern_Light | Dec 20, 2016 |
(21) I am quite late in reading this, I guess. But I have to say, I loved it!. This is the story of unassuming Alice Lindgren, the only child of quiet parents growing up in a quiet small town in Wisconsin. She is a good girl, bookish, well-behaved, with a crush on a young boy in her hometown. A tragic occurrence in high school sends her life on another trajectory and she ultimately meets and marries a gregarious rich young man from a well-connected family who seems her polar opposite. Her husband Charlie Blackwell has the money, the pedigree, and the connections to become President of the United States. Does Alice share his political views, his born-again religion. Does she believe in her husband? Does she love her husband?

Sittenfeld weaves magic - despite being over 500 pages and really about a courtship and a relationship (usually things that make my eyes roll), I couldn't put it down. Now, this is transparently modeled on the life of Laura Bush and our former president though she freely admits she made up every single conversation and of course changed a lot of details. I don't know exactly what is true and what is not but it honestly didn't matter; the story is good and frankly, did humanize the Bush's for me. (I wonder what they think of the novel or if they ever made public comment.)

My only complaint is it felt a bit like a guilty pleasure at times. At times a little too gossipy and chick-littish, I guess. I need to go and get her other novel, 'Prep', which got good reviews years ago but I never got around to reading. ( )
  jhowell | May 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 202 (next | show all)
Sittenfeld, author of Prep, has written an intelligent, bighearted novel about a controversial political dynasty. It's also the summer's most delicious read, a book you can guzzle like a cold, creamy milk shake.

“American Wife” is most engaging in its early chapters, when Alice Lindgren isn’t yet Alice Blackwell but an insecure young woman, haunted by the memory of the beautiful boy she’d accidentally killed as a girl yet dedicated to teaching and to a life defined by books. After she meets Charlie Blackwell and becomes his helpmeet, her independence swallowed up in his ambition, Alice seems to lose definition and, especially in the novel’s final, weakest section, titled “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” to become a generic figure of celebrity proffering bromides to an adulatory public.
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Didn't want fame, but
husband did. Public smiles with
hidden inner thoughts.

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On what might become one of the most significant days in her husband's presidency, Alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led her to the White House--and the repercussions of a life lived, as she puts it, "almost in opposition to itself." How can she both love and fundamentally disagree with her husband? How complicit has she been in the trajectory of her own life? What should she do when her private beliefs run against her public persona?--From publisher description.… (more)

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