Book Review: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

American Wife is September 2008 novel by Curtis Sittenfeld and is on the New York Times Bestseller Paperback Fiction list. This novel is about a woman who is a librarian who falls in love and marries a man who will eventually become President of the United States. From the reviews of this book, it is apparently supposed to be off the cuff fictionalized version of the former President and First Lady of the United States.

Alice Lindgren is the kind of person who is different than many people and is a person who is who has awareness and high regard to others. Her parents are the kind that go through live, not expecting much from the world around them. Alice is someone who is not close to people and remains in the background, watching others. In a tragedy of epic proportions, a student is killed and Alice is involved. This tragedy leaves Alice with thoughts about life and her life. As she copes with what has happened, she learns to live life and goes on to become a librarian. She will meet Charlie Blackwell, many years later, who she ignores at first. Charlie Blackwell is interesting and comes from a family who are well off.

Alice is not impressed with Charlie, at first since he tends to be annoying and domineering. Alice finds herself interested after some recent events. Just as quickly, she finds that she is attracted to him and being wined and dined by him. Their relationship soon takes a turn and they get married. We, the reader, start to see things between them that are not as they seem to be. Alice integrates herself into her husband's family and the high society life. She begins to question herself and the life that she lives now, with her own beliefs. She is uneasy about this new life and the wealth that is comes with the family. Alice is determined to do what she must because she made vows and helps him is some trying and troubled times. She has to reach inside herself to find more strength when he makes the decision to go into politics. The next thing that surprises her is that her husband becomes the President of the United States.

Alice is overwhelmed with her life and what goes along being the President's wife. She watches as her husband does many unpopular things as the commander in chief. Alice begins to see what her life is as time passes. She questions her life again and what she gave up. How can she get herself back? And what does she need to do to recover her life?