“American Wife” by Curtis Sittenfeld

A character-driven story about Alice Blackwell, a small town girl who meets and falls in love with a rising Republican hot-shot from her home state of Wisconsin. The strength of this story comes from the first-person narration by Alice and the way the story is told. Each of the four sections of the story are defined by a place Alice lives and she tells the story of not only what’s going on in her life at the time, but fills in certain details to help clue you in on the overall pattern of her life. It ends up making the story feel very conversational, like sitting down with an old friend and catching up a bit.

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. Despite being a Democrat, Alice finds herself falling for him and the two engaged in a whirlwind romance before getting engaged after just six weeks.

The writing style of the book is well done and while it’s not breaking any new ground, the voice of Alice still feels fresh, authentic and real. Watching Charlie’s star rise until he achieves the ultimate in political success is fascinating. Even more fascinating is that the story here is loosely based on the story of former first lady Laura Bush. In the end, we get to see the private side of the political office and the toll it can take on any relationship. It may even persuade some to look past a politican’s policies and see that there is a human being behind them, who in the end isn’t really all that different from you or I

1 Comment

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One response to ““American Wife” by Curtis Sittenfeld

  1. It seems that people either love this book or hate it. I’m with you, as I really enjoyed it also. During the last election I actually thought of this book and wondered, I wonder if Michelle Obama is going to get some work done? lol

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