Most of you know that I adore American Wife and it made me want to read more about Laura Bush. Mind you, my political views are the exact opposite of her husband. American Wife had given me hope that even though Laura is married to a man I despise that she may have some good and fun in her. While, I do think she does think a lot more liberally than her husband, this book made me mad at her and her "choices" she has made in her life.
Ann Gerhart was assigned to cover the first lady by The Washington Post and the information she shares is from various interviews with Laura, her friends/family/acquaintances/employees and from observing and research. The book is broken into different sections but the timeline jumps around a lot and that really bothered me. I understood the reasoning to break up the different parts of her life into different sections but the repeating of facts and quotes really irked me. I only need to read it once!
I really found the sections about her life as a young adult working as a teacher and getting a grad degree as well as the section on the Bush twins. Ms. Gerhart was NOT kind to the Bush twins. They were portrayed as bratty, spoiled and immature. She really railed into them and I also think she was a bit perturbed at Laura's lack of a public action on their wildness.
It was interesting to learn a little more about her, and some truth as opposed to the fiction in American Wife, but I really think I would have been happy not reading the book.
It irritates me that someone who hints at being progressive or a teacher or a WOMAN could portray yourself the way she does in public. The demurring to her husband or "whatever he thinks/says" just doesn't fly with me. I also honestly do not know how you can be married to someone if you differ so much on issues, so frankly I don't know how she stands on things but I cannot accept that as an educator she could have rallied behind No Child Left Behind. One of the worst bills ever. Seriously. I guess I just get so angry at that type of a woman and that made the book a little sour to me.
Who is a woman role model that you look up to? Am I alone in this how can you stay silent and never speak your mind camp? I would go crazy. I also think it would lead to a very boring relationship.
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(This book also counts towards 10 books I will read that my readers chose for me in 2010!)
I am going to start reading American Wife soon! Becky emailed me her copy, I can't wait to read it. Maybe I'll read this one after I'm done although I'm not a huge fan of biographies.
I couldn't be the silent type either. I just have way too many opinions!!!
Interesting... I would LOVE to hear her point of view, that's for sure!
I agree with you on how Ann Gerhart wasn't too kind to the twins. At first I kind of disagree with the George and Laura's approach to parenting them, but now that I have had more time to think about it I think they did it right.
It had to be hard to grow up like that and continue living like that with Secret Service and little privacy.
Her silence is the one reason I never warmed up to her as a First Lady. Seemed a little too Stepford Wife to me.
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