Sunday, August 31, 2008

American Wife

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld follows the life of Alice from girlhood into womanhood. It is the story of how she found love, lost it, found it again, got married and how her husband, Charlie, became the President of the United States and how she dealt with that. Overall, I enjoyed most of this book. I did not realize going in that Charlie was based on George W. Bush. I felt a little turned off by that. There were no clues all along until the story flashed ahead several years to the present and we are clued in that Charlie was the president during 9/11 and has a very low approval rating, along with many other things that make it obvious that he is supposed to be GWB. I felt blindsided by that. I also did not like the way the story ended. Alice betrayed Charlie while remaining true to herself and her beliefs, but we are not made aware of the consequences this has to their marriage and what happens next. I did enjoy the beginning 3/4ths of the book. I really enjoyed the characters, writing and storyline and I thought it was a very good book (minus the GWB aspect). I still think it is a book worth reading and had great potential to be an excellent book. I just wish Sittenfeld had not copped out and had not based Charlie on a real person. Especially a person who is so polar and who many people dislike. I gave the book 3.5 stars.


Jen - Devourer of Books said...

I'm surprised you hadn't heard that "American Wife" was supposed to be losely based on Laura Bush. Here are articles from The Boston Globe and USA Today.

Kimberly said...

In my defense, I read the book over a month ago and those articles are much more recent. I also read the book while my staying with my daughter in the hospital for many weeks and I was somewhat cutoff from the news. I try not to read any articles about books I am reading/going to read before I finish and review it so that I can form my own opinions.