I love Curtis Sittenfeld. Her collection of essays: You Think It, I’ll Say It was one of my favorite books a few years ago. Her latest release, Rodham, follows a fictional version of life where Hillary Clinton does not marry Bill.
I’ll be honest — when I found out what Sittenfeld’s new subject matter was, I was not excited. I flashed back to season 3 of Gilmore Girls, when Rory is preparing for college and going gaga over Hillary for her admissions essay. I didn’t get it then and I wasn’t looking forward to reading about it now. (Don’t get me wrong — I think Hillary Clinton is a highly capable human being, I’ve just never been an uber fan of hers.)
But then I opened it.
This thing pulled me in from the beginning and I couldn’t put it down. We start when Hillary meets Bill at Yale Law School and the first half of the book is about their dating life. Were the sex scenes a little cringe-worthy? Yes. (Imagine if you’re Chelsea…) But I identified more with Hillary then I ever thought I would.
After they break up — spoiler alert — the second half of the book follows Hillary as she embarks on her own political career, starting with a run for the US Senate from Illinois and ending with her third run for president. My only complaint is that by choosing her career, fictional Hillary does not get to marry a different nice guy and have a family. (Again...sorry, Chelsea.) I feel like that’s always how it goes. Women are forced to choose one or the other, which is kind of sad and unfair.
This book is about politics, but it isn’t actively political. No matter what side of the aisle you call home, you can still enjoy this captivating story. I actually think that this book is going to send me down the Hillary Clinton rabbit hole. I may have to seek out one of her other books and see if the real Hillary is appealing as the fictional one.
As we gear up for the election, if you want to learn more about women in politics, be sure to check out the virtual opening celebration for and more info about our Votes for Women room.
Before I go, can we talk about the Rodham cover for a sec? How much does that picture of Hillary look like Chelsea? Am I right?