Thursday, July 05, 2012

Integrated Advisory: American Wife

American Wife
by Curtis Sittenfeld

I recently listened to the audio book American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.  I loved it!  I generally enjoy books that follow a person over their lifetime.  You get to know them as children, so you better understand their viewpoints and the decisions they make as adults.  This is one of those books I had heard of, and I read another book by the same author, so I just grabbed the audio book off the library shelf and started listening.  I didn't even read the blurb on the back until after I finished it (19 discs!).  I realized in about the last third that the story seemed vaguely familiar.  I hadn't read the book before, but the story seemed to be based on one I had heard before.  Duh!  It's loosely based on a biography of Laura Bush!

It's about a woman who marries a man with political ambitions, whose policies she doesn't really support.  She was a librarian before she was married.  At the same time, this is definitely a fictionalized version of Laura Bush's life.  I won't give away the story, but there are things that happen to Alice Blackwell, the main character of the book, that never (as far as anyone knows...) happened to Laura Bush.  It's really interesting to re-imagine the life of a first lady.

Here are some similar items to recommend to anyone who enjoyed American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Spoken from the Heart
by Laura Bush

Laura Bush's memoir.  Straight from the First Lady herself!

The Good Wife Strikes Back
by Elizabeth Buchan

The wife of a politician gets tired of having to be the perfect wife. She has ambitions of her own, although she still loves her husband.

Rich Like Them
By Ryan D'Agostino

The author went to rich people, asking them how they made their money. An important part of American Wife is Alice's discomfort with wealth and her need to help those less fortunate.

Born Rich

Here's a documentary about young rich people who are heirs to fortunes. Charlie Blackwell in American Wife was born rich, and could weigh in on this documentary about the advantages and disadvantages of being an heir.

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