A Review: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

This is my Goodreads review.  
Goodreads rating:  1 star 

I found the book to be well written and one that is hard to put down, but I would never recommend.  It's a dangerous precedent to be writing about real people as fiction and recreating them to spur ones own convictions.  This is why it's a one star rating.  If this had been a future president unassociated with anyone living, it would have received four stars. 

The liberal author has simply created a way to give her political views credibility.  She pretends that her views are the real views of Laura Bush.  To call this a work of fiction is a cover.  You cannot read it without imagining and believing it is George and Laura Bush she is writing about. The clever use of truth amongst the overwhelming fabrication she indulges in will almost certainly color the readers impression of these two very real persons forever.  People who are not unlike them, but who most assuredly are not them.

The authors hatred of George Bush is evident on every page.  The rosy, boyish "charm" is a thin disguise she uses to discredit him thoroughly.  I continued to read to the end, horrified at the liberties she has taken in the personal life of someone she only knows through what others have written.  Few people will take the time to research what is truth and what is fiction. 

Many people will go to their graves believing Laura Bush is Alice Blackwell.  The fact that Laura  was raised a Democrat (as was I) gave the author license to impose her own views on this character with what she believes to be good credibility. She imagined Laura cocooned herself in "Wife" mode rather than disagree with her conservative husband. The final audacity being she confessed she never voted for George for president...oops I mean Charlie...oops earlier I meant Alice. 

I found this the most disconcerting.  The author has written this book in Laura Bush's real voice.  The inflection, the tone, phrasing.  She certainly did her homework.

Oh, Curtis Sittenfeld is clever.  Sprinkling the book throughout with, what are probably her own sexual exploits and attributing them to two real/fictional people is reprehensible. This part of the book was the most uncomfortable.  Skimming over these sections didn't erase them.

The young author
The book was needlessly lengthy. Often she digressed too long before coming back to a point, especially in the last section of the book.  Well written? Yes.  Explosive? No.  Character assassination? Pretty much.     

President George Bush and Laura Bush

As much as I immersed myself into this good story,  I can't in good conscience recommend.  It's misleading the public honorably. 

Linked to


Great timing that you have reviewed this book. A friend gave it to me and I have been putting off reading it because it is so long and I was afraid it would be so slanted (as you mention). My reading time is limited because of my 3 kids and I wanted to pick a book I would enjoy. I will put this one at the back of the shelf!! Thanks again.
Tina said…
Thank you for linking up!
I haven't heard of this book and now that I have, well if I happen to see it, I will not give it a second look. Thank you for the review.

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