REVIEW – Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

I had such high hopes for this book (despite the mixed reviews I was seeing). What would have happened if Hillary never married Bill? According to this book, Hillary’s life still would have pretty much revolved around Bill Clinton anyway.

What worked in Sittenfeld’s American Wife is exactly why this one fell flat for me. American Wife is based on real people, but the characters themselves are fictional. You know it’s about “that First Lady” but they have different names, slightly different histories and it’s all very much “based on” without being an attempt to rewrite history. Maybe explicitly naming Hillary was the point, here. Maybe this book would not have captured attention without it.

What should have been a book championing Hillary’s accomplishments (and those that “could have been” in an alternate universe) really just becomes a book where Hillary’s life is propelled and hindered by the men around her. And the inclusion of the-orange-one-who-must-not-be-named and the subsequent plot around THAT character was just unforgivable.

If you’re looking for an empowering book about Hillary, skip this one and read something by the woman herself.

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