Today, I’m back with another book review and this time, it’s Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld.
Today, my review is all about Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld. This was a book that I was looking forward to this year. But first, what’s it all about, exactly? Here’s the blurb:
‘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.
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.
I really, really wanted to like this book. I really enjoyed American Wife so I thought this would be another great read for me. But sadly, I didn’t like it. I find the premise, what if Hilary hadn’t married Bill an interesting premise because of course, it’s interesting! But sadly, for me, I just found it repetitive and honestly, quite boring for the majority of it.
I think Curtis Sittenfeld is a brilliant writer but this just didn’t work for me, sadly. There were moments I liked: I liked the investigation into the role of gender and female ambition in a male-dominated world of politics. I love reading about politics (Hilary’s What Happened is a great memoir) and I enjoy reading about behind-the-scenes of a campaign and I think they were my favourite moments in the book. But other than that, I found it pretty repetitive. She meets Bill, they go out, she goes to her friends for dinner, she goes to work, she has sex with Bill, she goes out with her friends for dinner, she has sex with Bill, she has… you get the idea. There are also cameos from Donald Trump…
I think it’s an interesting and exciting premise – an alternate version of history but it didn’t work for me, sadly. I was really looking forward to reading it, I pre-ordered a signed copy and I was excited to read it, especially after enjoying American Wife. I think Curtis Sittenfeld is a brilliant writer but this just wasn’t the book for me, sadly. I am interested to see how they adapt this into a TV series, though. Perhaps it will work better for me on screen.
Perhaps I was missing something or perhaps I need to re-read it again but who knows? Perhaps, in an alternate version of events, I loved this book! Don’t be put off by me though, I have seen a lot of people really enjoying and loving the book.
You can read my review of American Wife, here.
I am looking forward to read more from Curtis Sittenfeld and I think I’m going to read her short story collection which I’ve heard nothing but praise for.
Have you read Rodham? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!