American Wife

  • by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Narrated by Kimberly Farr
  • 23 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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."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 17 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?

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What the Critics Say

"What a remarkable (and brave) thing: a compassionate, illuminating, and beautifully rendered portrait of a fictional Republican first lady with a life and husband very much like our actual Republican first lady's. Curtis Sittenfeld has written a novel as impressive as it is improbable." (Kurt Andersen)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Totally disgusting trash! Worst novel ever?

I'm a retired 72 year old who has been an Audible member since December 2006. I purchased and listened to this fictionalized political hit piece in May 2009 before Audible has a return policy. My review is 6+ years late. In reviewing my Audible, Kindle, and hardback/paperback purchases beginning in January 2007 I find that I have read or listened to over 1400 books during those 9 years. The list is approximately 15% non-fiction and 85% fiction. I browsing through the 1400+ titles American Wife stands out as clearly the worst book that I have read. It is disgusting!

The American wife is named Alice Blackwell, but is a thinly disguised Laura Welch Bush, wife of George W Bush. . The sad part is that many ignorant readers and reviewers view this totally fictionalized novel as a true description of Laura and George W Bush. It is not true folks; it is just trashy fiction.



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- Wayne "I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!"

Mesmerizing and Enchanting!

Wow...what a book. The author weaves an intricate tapestry of characters, plots and history. Not politically offensive.....get the unabridged version...it's about 21 hours, but I found it hard to stop listening. Terrific writing. Worth the money/credit. I'm a new fan for sure!
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- Summer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-16-2008
  • Publisher: Books on Tape