“…all Bushes love the Johnsons.” ~ Barbara Bush in a 1998 letter to Lady Bird Johnson
It has been a while since I posted a blog, Dear Bloggites, and for that I am sincerely sorry. This book review is over the October book choice for the Books & Broads Book Club. The book I am going to review is First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower. Man is that a mouthful to say, as well as, type! 🙂
I was pleasantly surprised that this book was an interesting read. I was worried the writer would skew their writing to support their political viewpoint, but it was really written in a matter of fact way where the information was given in concise statements without any lean toward one side or the other.
The book covered ten first ladies from Kennedy to Obama and how their rare membership to the elite club of First Ladies has forged friendships that bypassed any political standings. I enjoyed reading excerpts from various letters or statements made between the first women in the transition of outgoing to incoming Presidents and the support system given throughout each other’s time in the office as well as after their time in the office.
The first 3/4ths of the book, was an easy read, but the last 1/4th was a beating to get through. Once I reached this point, I was re-reading stories that were already covered earlier in the book and it became annoying. I fault this on the editors as well as the author for not cleaning up the book better. I understand that the stories may fit into various categories (which is how the book was broken up) but after the third or fourth time of reading the same story, it killed my interest in going on with the story.
The setup of the book was rather confusing until you realized the title for each chapter was the subject being given in the various relationships such as the chapter titled The Good Wife covered the different first ladies and how they handled being married to the President of the United States. The reader is confused at the jumping back and forth between the ladies until you realize it was connected to the title and not in chronological order of each President’s term in office.
Overall, I enjoyed the book until the final chapters which is really bad because I truly enjoyed the relationships between the ladies without the feeling of the author gossiping about anyone. I just wished they would have edited the book better in the end and compiled the stories in a better format.
I give First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower 3 out of 5 Bookmarks. If you like politics and the inner workings, this book is probably for you.