Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On Laura Bush

I am a fan of Curtis Sittenfeld. I have read all her books, and I think she does an excellent job of describing women as they are, what they go through, often in ways that aren't usually expressed. I think of her second novel, The Man of My Dreams, occasionally, because it's a book that doesn't do any sort of typical romance or romantic trajectory, and is completely heartbreaking is so many ways that feel so true to life. I agree with Katie's review in that I immediately liked it just because the protagonist wasn't experienced, and not in the totally fake way that Charlotte Simmons is. But her standout is most definitely American Wife, her novelization of Laura Bush. When I reviewed it in 2008, I said it didn't compare to her previous works, but I don't agree with that assertion any more; I think it is quite distinct on its own.

I bring this up because Laura Bush has released her own memoir, and I agree with Jessica Grose in that reading American Wife completely changed how I viewed Mrs. Bush. She still seems so reserved and matronly, but with American Wife in my head, even a year and a half later, I am intrigued by Mrs. Bush's story. It just proves how damn good Curtis Sittenfeld is.

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