By Curtis Sittenfeld
Published by Doubleday July 2020
What it’s about?
‘Awfully opinionated for a girl’ is what they call Hillary as she grows up in her Chicago suburb. Smart, diligent, and a bit plain, that’s the general consensus.Then Hillary goes to college, and her star rises.
At Yale Law School, she continues to be a leader— and catches the eye of driven, handsome and charismatic Bill. But when he asks her to marry him, Hillary gives him a firm ‘No’.
The rest, as they say, isn’t history. How might things have turned out for them, for America, for the world itself, if Hillary Rodham had really turned down Bill Clinton?
With her sharp but always compassionate eye, Sittenfeld explores the loneliness, moral ambivalence and iron determination that characterise the quest for high office, as well as the painful compromises demanded of
female ambition in a world ruled by men. Uncannily astute and witty in the telling, RODHAM is a brilliant
reimagining – an unmissable literary landmark and truly a novel of ourtimes.
What I think:
Rodham has been on my TBR since I heard about it so I was very excited to be offered the chance to be a part of the blog tour.
The premise of the book is simple. What would have happened if Hillary hadn’t married Bill Clinton? How would her life and her career have been different?
What is striking about this version if history is that even though Hillary walks away from Clinton and his infidelity, the impact that this relationship has on her life is huge. She remains unmarried and childless and focuses all of her energy on her career and public service.
Hillary is passionate, hardworking and principled. She has a successful career as a law professor before deciding to run for senate and beginning a political career.
Throughout her fictional life, as in reality, Hillary is critised for being too smart, too argumentative and for being unlikeable. In Sittenfield’s world Rodham goes against Clinton rather than working together and Hillary forms a fascinating “friendship” with Trump.
Sittenfeld blends fact and fiction seamlessly. Real events are used and recreated. Real speeches are quoted. And the essence of the public personas of each of the real people is maintained.
This is a version of history Hillary fans will love. Hillary is warm, friendly and extremely likeable. She is witty and insecure and entirely human.
About the author:
In addition to Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of the Sunday Times
bestseller American Wife, in which she painted a picture of an ordinary
American girl – a thinly-disguised Laura Bush – who found herself married to a President. It was longlisted for theOrange Prize, as was her debut novel Prep.
Her other books are Man of My Dreams, Sisterland (a Richard & Judy Book Club pick), Eligible, and the acclaimed short story collection You Think It, I’ll Say It. Her books are translated into 30 languages.
She lives with her family in the American Mid-West
Thank you Doubleday, Curtis Sittenfeld and Anne Cater for inviting me to a part if this much anticipated blog tour.