American Wife

American Wife

3.71 (42,372 ratings by Goodreads)
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In the year 2000, in the closest election in American history, Alice Blackwell's husband becomes president of the United States. Their time in the White House proves to be heady, tumultuous, and controversial. But it is Alice's own story - that of a kind, bookish, only child born in the 1940s Midwest who comes to inhabit a life of dizzying wealth and power - that is itself remarkable. Alice candidly describes her small-town upbringing, and the tragedy that shaped her identity; she recalls her early adulthood as a librarian, and her surprising courtship with the man who swept her off her feet; she tells of the crisis that almost ended their marriage; and she confides the privileges and difficulties of being first lady, a role that is uniquely cloistered and public, secretive and exposed. In Alice Blackwell, Curtis Sittenfeld has created her most dynamic and complex heroine yet. American Wife is not a novel about politics. It is a gorgeously written novel that weaves race, class, fate and wealth into a brilliant tapestry. It is a novel in which the unexpected becomes inevitable, and the pleasures and pain of intimacy and love are laid more

Product details

  • Paperback | 640 pages
  • 126 x 194 x 40mm | 360g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552775541
  • 9780552775540
  • 19,544

About Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of the word-of-mouth bestseller American Wife, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, as was her first novel, Prep, a New York Times bestseller. Sisterland, her fourth novel, was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, and her most recent Sunday Times bestseller was Eligible, a contemporary retelling of Pride & Prejudice. Her books are translated into 25 languages. She is married, with two young children, and lives in the American Mid-West. Visit her website, www.curtissittenfeld.comshow more

Review quote

"A quietly riveting parable... thought-provoking, entertaining and full of subtle reflections on class and marriage" * Daily Mail * "Thoroughly enjoyable. The plot is beautifully paced, the writing quick, clear, absorbing... A sweeping saga" * The Times * "A powerful, utterly compelling and strangely moving fictional account of a First Lady who bears more than a passing resemblance to Laura Bush" * Daily Mirror * "Such an accomplished work of fiction... a thoughtful and compelling examination of the mechanics of family and marriage... Knowing and knowledgeable, yet also inventive and original, American Wife is a thrilling combination of history and surprises" * Guardian * "My favourite book of the year" * Kate Atkinson *show more

Review Text

"Thoroughly enjoyable. The plot is beautifully paced, the writing quick, clear, absorbing... A sweeping saga"show more

Back cover copy

On one of the most important days of her husband's presidency, Alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led them to the White House, and faces contradictions years in the making. Weaving race, class, wealth and fate into a brilliant tapestry, this remarkable novel lays bare the pleasures and pain of intimacy and more

Rating details

42,372 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 20% (8,594)
4 42% (17,950)
3 28% (11,914)
2 7% (3,081)
1 2% (833)

Our customer reviews

This book is so so good. The writing is superb, exquisite, and maintains an even pace. Acutely accurate comprehension and description of certain, interesting personalities, likenesses of whom you will have encountered before in your life. Reading this book I repeatedly felt that this woman (Sittenfeld) was expressing things I had only ever felt before, and not been able to describe. The woman narrator's insights into situations and people she meets are bordering on something I could compare with Tolstoy's characters in Anna Karenina; an absorbing bildungsroman of unparalleled calibre. This book changed my life in the way that it opened me up to certain parts of myself I hadn't before acknowledged. Please read!show more
by ribby
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