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American wife : a novel
Curtis Sittenfeld
Adult Fiction SITTENFE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Sittenfeld tracks, in her uneven third novel, the life of bookish, naïve Alice Lindgren and the trajectory that lands her in the White House as first lady. Charlie Blackwell, her boyishly charming rake of a husband, whose background of Ivy League privilege, penchant for booze and partying, contempt for the news and habit of making flubs when speaking off the cuff, bears more than a passing resemblance to the current president (though the Blackwells hail from Wisconsin, not Texas). Sittenfeld shines early in her portrayal of Alice's coming-of-age in Riley, Wis., living with her parents and her mildly eccentric grandmother. A car accident in her teens results in the death of her first crush, which haunts Alice even as she later falls for Charlie and becomes overwhelmed by his family's private summer compound and exclusive country club membership. Once the author leaves the realm of pure fiction, however, and has the first couple deal with his being ostracized as a president who favors an increasingly unpopular war, the book quickly loses its panache and sputters to a weak conclusion that doesn't live up to the fine storytelling that precedes it. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Alice was settling into her career as a school librarian when she met Charlie, the likable but aimless and least ambitious son of a patrician family. They fell in love and married-and he eventually became President of the United States. In New York Times best-selling author Sittenfeld's (Prep) first-person portrait, Alice must be careful when expressing her opinions, especially when incidents from her past arise unexpectedly. Kimberly Farr's (The 19th Wife) carefully modulated reading astutely conveys the sense of guardedness Alice must feel. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections.-Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Alice Blackwell
Female
Married
Bookish; grew up in a small town; lost her first love in a car accident when she was 17; unexpectedly fell in love and married Charlie; thrust into a position of power she was not seeking; her private beliefs disagree with those of her husband; feels overwhlemed with her life.
Librarian

Charlie Blackwell
Male
Married
Alice's husband.
U.S. President



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