Recently, I finished reading American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, and I never imagined this day would come for two reasons: one, I forgot I had this book, and two it was 640 pages long. Was it worth it? Yes.
I think I’m somewhat sentimental about this book because I found it in a little independent bookshop in London. The name of said shop eludes me but I will forever remember the atmosphere; jumbled books, hidden gems stuffed into corners, cheap prices, dim lighting, good company etc. Apart from the circumstances surrounding my discovering American Wife, the book itself is fabulous. It’s about a woman’s life before, during, and after she met her husband who is the current president of the United States. However, who exactly this president is, is not revealed for a long time (nor is it terribly important – until it is).
More than marriage and American politics (although there is a lot of content dedicated to both of these topics), this book is about people, childhood, status, wealth, class, chance, compromise and more. American Wife kept my interest for most of the story, and I read it most nights. However, if you get emotionally invested in characters as I do, for your own emotional well-being, I advise you to read certain sections of this book during the day. The storylines are slow paced and some of the characters and details about them seem irrelevant but it is all worth it in the end. I give American Wife an impressive 8/10, although not my favourite book, is one that I will not forget. My next book is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (I know, finally). I enjoyed García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, but with so much buzz and high praise surrounding the book, I proceed with caution…
Until next time, happy reading!
– Chloé Jarrett-Bell
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