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American Wife – Curtis Sittenfeld

April 20, 2009

I was in the bookstore wandering around looking for something light to read and came across this novel. I read Prep and really enjoyed it, so I picked this up, not completely knowing what to expect.

I ended up really liking this book. It follows the life of Alice Blackwell from childhood through adulthood. Alice lived a fairly humble life in a good home, until a tragic accident occurred when she was a senior in high school. Many years later, Alice meets Charlie, falls in love, and gets married. Charlie is an aspiring politician from a well known and affluent family in Wisconsin.

Alice and Charlie have their ups and downs throughout their marriage. Alice has very different political beliefs than Charlie, which causes conflict and tension. Eventually, Charlie ends up elected President of the United States.

Sittenfeld said that he modeled the character of Alice after Laura Bush, and I could really see that in this novel. It was a very interesting read. I loved it up until the final portion of the book where Charlie became President. But, I didn’t dislike that part enough for it to spoil my thoughts of the rest of the book. It was a really well told, realistic, and engrossing story. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an engaging, but still light, read.

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