Book Review: Curtis Sittenfeld ~ American Wife (2008)

This book is 635 pages long and a long read. Is it worth it? Unfortunately as I began this review I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t. This makes me feel stupid.

The book isn’t a novel it’s a fictionalised biography of Laura Bush and her husband, the moronic George W Bush. If it were a novel, with a half decent editor, it would have shrunk to about 250 pages. She’s got good insights into power, fame and friendship and I suppose they kept me going.

There are gruesome attempts at authenticity: songs, TV programmes, cars, shops, and trite personal details.

Try this

That night, Ella and Lars went to bed around the same time, and my mother and I watched ‘Knots Landing’ together.” p460 This is ‘research’. But as it’s a novel not an ‘A’ level essay and I didn’t really need pages 637-8, which detail her efforts. It felt like forced feeding: ‘I learned it and you’re going to get it’.

On the other hand it’s compelling if you don’t think too much: Wallow!

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