American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield

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.”

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice learned the virtues of politeness early on from her stolid parents and small Wisconsin hometown. But a tragic accident when she was seventeen shattered her identity and made her understand the fragility of life and the tenuousness of luck. So more than a decade later, when she met boisterous, charismatic Charlie Blackwell, she hardly gave him a second look: She was serious and thoughtful, and he would rather crack a joke than offer a real insight; he was the wealthy son of a bastion family of the Republican party, and she was a school librarian and registered Democrat. Comfortable in her quiet and unassuming life, she felt inured to his charms. And then, much to her surprise, Alice fell for Charlie.

As Alice learns to make her way amid the clannish energy and smug confidence of the Blackwell family, navigating the strange rituals of their country club and summer estate, she remains uneasy with her newfound good fortune. And when Charlie eventually becomes President, Alice is thrust into a position she did not seek–one of power and influence, privilege and responsibility. As Charlie’s tumultuous and controversial second term in the White House wears on, Alice must face contradictions years in the making: 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?

REVIEW: I kept seeing this book everywhere so I thought that I would read it. I have to say that I was disappointed. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I feel like I was let down.

For me this was one of the driest books that I have ever read. I suffered through it thinking that at some point it will be better and not quite as dry. It just never happened. I felt like I was reading a fictional biography of Laura Bush. All of the events that happen in the book have happened in the last 9 years. The president could be our former president he was so similar.

So if you want to read all about the last nine years only from a fictional white house check this book out. However I recommend waiting about 15 yrs.

I give this book a 3 out 5



  1. Alaine

    Felt exaclty the same way about this book. I’m from Australia and our polital system is different so it was interesting from that perspective but I was disappointed.

  2. Heather

    it was so dry that at times it wasn’t even worth reading…


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