Thursday, August 5, 2010

Goodreads: In this brave, beautiful, and deeply personal memoir, Laura Bush, one of our most beloved and private first ladies, tells her own extraordinary story.

Born in the boom-and-bust oil town of Midland, Texas, Laura Welch grew up as an only child in a family that lost three babies to miscarriage or infant death. She vividly evokes Midland's brash, rugged culture, her close relationship with her father, and the bonds of early friendships that sustain her to this day. For the first time, in heart-wrenching detail, she writes about the devastating high school car accident that left her friend Mike Douglas dead and about her decades of unspoken grief.

With deft humor and a sharp eye, Laura Bush lifts the curtain on what really happens inside the White House, from presidential finances to the 175-year-old tradition of separate bedrooms for presidents and their wives to the antics of some White House guests and even a few members of Congress. She writes with honesty and eloquence about her family, her public triumphs, and her personal tribulations. Laura Bush's compassion, her sense of humor, her grace, and her uncommon willingness to bare her heart make this story revelatory, beautifully rendered, and unlike any other first lady's memoir ever written.

Kritters Thoughts: Such a great read. How interesting to hear the real behind the scenes of life in the White House. Of course, I am even more interested because I live so close to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, but to get the story from a woman who is known to be private was even more interesting.

I loved to hear about her interactions with Bush Sr and the few times they visited Washington, D.C. while he was in office. I couldn't believe that she had spent very little time with her in-laws until after they had been married for quite some time.

What a schedule those first ladies keep? I had no idea that they traveled as much as they do. I know they had schedules to keep, but I assumed most of their events were local, if not in the United States. Mrs. Bush was traveling all over the world and made friends with a lot of "first ladies." It was so cool to hear who she connected with and what helped her create relationships with all of these foreign dignitaries' wives.

Although I enjoyed this read, one of things I would have edited out were the little quips that felt as though they were included only to make George Bush look better. At the end of a long paragraph on some subject, she would state that she was glad Bush had religion to lean on in times of trouble. There were many more, I didn't think they added to the story and it even took away some of the credibility of the story.

The other thing that sent me spinning every so often was the in and out of timelines. The book had a sort of flow through time, but every so often there was a flashback or an insert of a future time. I felt as though those future moments could have been held for when they would naturally occur in the story.

Whether a Bush fan or not, I think this is a great read to find out what not only happens behind the White House walls. BUT what happenedwhen 9-11 and terrorism hit close to home. I relived that day in history when I was reading her account of what she was doing and how her life completely changed that morning.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Total pages: 464

GR July-Sept Challenge: It's All Relative (1 of 2)

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