I have a HUGE crush on first ladies in general. It’s hard to cultivate warm feelings for the sadly zombified Laura Bush, who seems to be heavily sedated at all times. Yet even I am excited to hear she has a new memoir, Spoken from the Heart, in which she discusses the fatal accident that killed her high school boyfriend and all the mean things said about the husband she claims to love. I prefer the fictional story in Curtis Sittenfeld’s novel American Wife, where the Laura Bush character cannot vote for the clown she married. I hope Laura pens a sequal after rehab!
I love this photo of Betty Ford getting ready to check out of the White House.
Enough already about politics, global financial disaster and this so-called hope. Let’s focus on domesticity, first ladies, and the first kids in the White House. Sasha and Malia are super-cute, and the most photogenic since John-John and Caroline.
The New York Times also helpfully reminds us that at 12:32 pm on January 20, 2009, Laura and George Bush will lift off from the Capitol by helicopter. Good riddance!
And good luck with rehab, Laura. Give Betty a call. You deserve better!!
Despite (or because?) of my Japanese husband’s objections, I must share my deepest fascination with Curtis Sittenfeld’s new novel, “American Wife.” It describes the life of a slightly ficitonalized Laura Bush. The book was published the day after we left San Francisco for Tokyo, but miraculously I found a copy at the SFO airport bookstore.
I love almost all first ladies, first lady candidates, and even VP candidate husbands. However, I’ve never much liked Ms Bush because of her probably Rx-induced vacant presence. Ms Sittenfeld, a confessed fan, has written *the* novel about this first lady and her unique contributions to femininity and country.
In the first section, “Alice” not only kills her high school friend and would-be boyfriend in a car accident, a fact that is documented. She also loses her virginity with the dead boy’s brother, and receives an illegal abortion performed by her grandmother’s lesbian MD lover. My favorite line, which I had to translate for my husband: “Andrew died, I caused his death, and then, like a lover, I took him inside me.”
I already anticipate the sadness I will feel when I reach the end of this massive tome of unexpected vulgarity and sympathy. No doubt it will provide many lessons for me to become a better American wife here in Tokyo.
Is anyone else reading this book now?