Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fourty-four: American Wife - Curtis Sittenfeld

Amercian Wife is loosely based on Laura Bush's life.  Most of the book takes place in Wisconsin with the family business being beef.  Sittenfeld breaks the book into sections based on the address where Alice lived.

Part 1 - 1272 Amity Lane in Riley, Wisconsin and captures Alice's life through high school. 
Part 2 - 3859 Sproule Street in Madison, Wisconsin and captures Alice's life through her first years of marriage
Part 3 - 402 Maronee Drive captures the birth of her child and the later years of marriage
Part 4 - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue captures a few days of their life in the White House

This book was very well written and pulled the reader into the book.  It was easy to relate to Alice and her relationship with her husband Charlie.  I did feel the last part of the book didn't fit well with the first three sections.  Sittenfeld ended section three like the book was ending even though there was still over 100 pages to go.  I forgot about the cliffhanger prelude pages until I went back and read them again after finishing the book.  I know that Sittenfeld didn't want to focus on the politics but more the relationship between them, but I was surprised how little time was dedicated to the campaigning and their relationship during that time. I am curious to read a biography of Laura Bush's life to compare to what Sittenfeld based the Alice character on.

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