BY CURTIS SITTENFELD
This was chosen as a lock-down read when we were all yearning for a taste of ‘normal’. At over 600 pages you need to invest some time to pick up Curtis Sittenfeld’s ‘American Wife’ but it was warmly received in the Den as the perfect Missed Opportunity especially as it’s election year in the USA. Plus Sittenfeld is about to release her new novel ‘Rodham’ this July.
‘American Wife’ is a word-of-mouth bestseller about the marriage of an American First Lady whose early life is based on the story of Laura Bush, wife of Republican George W Bush.
'My favourite book of the year' - Kate Atkinson.
On one of the most important days of her husband's presidency, liberal leaning Alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led them to the White House, and that has landed an ordinary girl from a small town into the most public of roles. Weaving race, class, wealth and fate into a brilliant literary reimagining of the life of a reserved woman not unlike Laura Bush, American Wife is a remarkable novel that lays bare the pressures and contradictions of a marriage exposed in the global spotlight.
The Den enjoyed comparing this fictional novel with Michelle Obama’s much acclaimed memoir ‘Becoming’. Some found the length wearisome, whilst others felt we really could reimagine a human face behind the First Lady’s back-story because we had invested in her narrative. The length was worth it!
With the forthcoming release of ‘Rodham’, that reimagines Hilary Clinton’s life if she had not married Bill Clinton and the effects on politics, we feel certain this will be a novel worth reading in your Den.