Imagine a school librarian, feisty, introverted Alice, with a tragedy in her past. Imagine a successful, clannish, wealthy political family. Picture one of their sons, the black sheep, charming Charlie. Charlie reflects the tenor of the times (the 60's) by demonstrating a little less drive and a little more joie de vivre than his sibling rivals. Our heroine, the feisty young librarian, meets charming Charlie and the fun begins. They court and marry. Events unfold and they find themselves in the White House! American Wife tells Alice's story from her point of view and makes all the characters come alive in three dimensions. Readers are able to understand, empathize and speculate about the motivation, charisma, and character of the characters' real counterparts, familiar to us only superficially. Not sarcastic, mean-spirited or smarmy, it's truly an engaging American story for our times.
Recommended by Lee O'Brien