Tuesday, November 25, 2008

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Seeing as to how this novel nearly parallel's the life and times of Laura Bush, it seems appropriate that I chose to read this at a time when President Bush's term is coming to a close. Sittenfeld never states outright that she is fictionalizing Laura Bush, but the comparisons are pretty damn close - small town Alice Lindgren, a smart and sensitive (and kind of uptight) school librarian, unexpectedly falls in love with Charlie Blackwell, a rowdy, goodnatured but slightly dim-witted guy who happens to be part of the very prominent Blackwell family. The two marry and Charlie goes on to make political history as President, bringing Alice along for the ride.
I found the book to be a very quick read and mostly enjoyable, and it was nice to see the evolution of Charlie and Alice's relationship as he becomes more and more famous, however, I couldn't get past the frequent sex scenes between the two. It's obvious the book is about Laura and George W. Bush and, no offense, I really have no desire to imagine them copulating. Other than that small issue, it was still a positive reading experience.
It's being reported that Laura's memoirs will be a hot commodity in the publishing realm after Bush's term is over. It'll be interesting to compare her narrative voice with Sittenfeld's.

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