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I wish I could scrub my brain. Orange Prize Nominee sottenfeld Fiction Longlist To view it, click here. I was debating between 4 and 5 stars but settled on 4, only because it goes off the rails slightly when Alice becomes First Lady in the last section of the book and she makes some questionable choices that I don’t believe Laura Bush would EVER make.

Her self-relfection and explanations were thin, and to me sounded more like justifications. It also reminded me what a dynamo Barbara Bush was to be so outspoken.

The author knows how to write people, and I found it engrossing. For a book to be written about an wfe First Lady, a human being entitled to the same dignity we all deserve and a woman who most of America holds in high regard even the author herself admits that she’s fascinated by herand to speculate about private things like her sexuality, her commitment to her husband, an abortion and drug use, and dress it up as fiction to avoid being charged with slander and libel seems cowardly.

One of the best books I’ve read this year. At that point, I feel the book lost some of its magic for me.

The first hundred or so pages are all about establishing who Alice is, before we see her meet Charlie, the young Republican hot-shot whose star is on the rise. For the greater part of the book, I was not disappointed. But the problem with that is that I could only picture their faces, despite her numerous comments about how good looking Charlie was.

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld – review

The novel itself is well-written, and quite a page turner. Clearly, I’m not the right reader for this book.


Sittenfeld does an extraordinary job bringing Charlie and Alice to life in all their glory, warts and all. I would sirtenfeld liked this book more had it been about some completely faux, wholly invented presidential marriage.

It was distracting and it almost ruined a perfectly lovely book. I didn’t look at the picture in the book jacket and had a male author writing this in my head for well over half the book creates one of the most interesting and well-developed characters, Alice Blackwell, for a novel that I have read in a while.

A collection of the best contributions and reports from the Telegraph focussing on the key events, decisions and moments in Churchill’s life.

I have to say, based on the Three stars is really more of an average.

It ends up making the story feel very conversational, like sitting down with an old crtis and catching up a bit. Feb 25, Erin rated it really liked it Shelves: I was doubly intrigued when I found out that the protagonist of American Wife is a very thinly veiled Laura Bush.

The grandmother was still my favorite wite. If she had managed to write that, and leave out her obvious bias for Laura Bush and against President Bush – she might have succeeded in writing something thought provoking and brave.

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

I think the novel is flawed because it is too close and then again, not close enough, to a true story. But Alice has made her choice and she lives it to the best of her ability. I guess that’s fair but it still doesn’t seem like it. A wife compromises herself for love; she repeatedly bends her wishes to accommodate her husband. American Wife is outrageous not in curtos good way.

If there was any doubt that Alice is Laura and that Charlie is George W, it gets thrown out the window immediately as Siytenfeld presents the Blackwells with the same history as the Bushes: One of us in this experience was lying, and it’s not going to be me.

Building a story around a president of the USA and his wife, surely demands some respect for privacy, truth, facts, if it is I will have to go for two stars on this one.


American Wife

She simply points her finger towards mundanely complex things we see everyday and never notice. Sittenfeld used to craft this story, but she sure could have fooled me! That isn’t to say she doesn’t get married. So full of depth. Bush’s relationship, and frankly, I don’t care about them or their relationship. The author claims her intention was not to expose Laura Sittenfele but to write what life might be like if you happened to marry a guy who went on to become President of the United States.

Sittenfeld must have expected reactions such as mine.

Alice is very likable, and you cannot help but to become involved in her story. At times it is hard to square, but I’ll give Curtis Sittenfeld a break on this one, because I really love the character nonetheless. This book tells the xittenfeld of the men and women of Fighter Command who worked tirelessly in air bases scattered throughout Britain to thwart the Nazis.

With the exception of a few well-established facts e. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Alice Blackwell, Sittenfeld’s Laura alter-ego, is likable and moral; the challenge for a novelist is to explain how this woman could have fallen for a man like Charlie Blackwell George W right down to his ‘flaring nostrils’ and stayed with him.

This present-day drama, in which Alice jets between time zones attempting to stall the threatened exposure while also confronting sittenteld protester against her husband’s catastrophic war, is the least persuasive part of the novel.

Refresh and try again. Sittenfeld reverses a typical biography or fake biography structure by focusing most on the early years of Alice and then her courtship and early marriage. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation.