American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld is one book currently giving me a case of the vapors.
Description: 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.”Gee, I wonder where Sittenfeld found "inspiration" for this story?
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?
I'm of two minds on this book. My good angel thinks people are going to want to read this because it's a fictionalized account of Laura Bush. Because no matter how polarizing a figure her husband has been, people seem to genuinely "like" her. My bad angel? Well she thinks this book will sink like a stone because after 8 years, a very unpopular war, and an economy that's sputtering along, people are really friggin' sick of the Bush family.
Now before you call me Little Miss Liberal Softy Pants, I'd feel the exact same way if someone wrote a fictionalized account of Hillary Clinton's life. I'd rather be rolled in honey and staked to a fire ant hill than read that book either.
I'm an equal opportunity political book depiser.
So where does that leave me? Obsessively monitoring the holds list, and wondering if it will jump overnight when this book lands on September 2. As usual, I think this one is going to boil down to how much media coverage the author gets. Right now our holds list is strictly in modest territory.