A Laura Bush Memoir… Now Why Does This Sound Familiar?

This week the Internet was all atwitter over the forthcoming Laura Bush memoir “Spoken From the Heart.” The book will go on sale next week, but leaked copies made their way to some of the major news outlets so they gave us a play-by-play of what to expect.

Reading the articles, I came to wonder: If the book isn’t out yet, then why does it seem like something I’ve already read? Because it is like something I’ve already read.

In the fall, my book club chose Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife, another suggestion from my mom of course. And yet another good suggestion of hers I must say. American Wife, a book I really enjoyed, is a fictionalized account of the life of a first lady who seems an awful lot like Laura Bush. I hadn’t been so interested in the Bush family since I was made to watch the documentary Journeys with George in both high school and college.

From what I’ve read about the real Laura Bush’s memoir so far there are definitely parts that correspond to her fake counterpart from Sittenfeld’s version. Much like in American Wife, Bush addresses the tragic car accident she caused as a teenager which led to the death of a classmate, she talks about her bookish ways and reveals her lonely childhood.

However, the most salacious parts of the fictional American Wife don’t exactly make an appearance in the real deal. No Laura Bush does not admit she had an abortion or even express her liberal leanings compared to her husband’s conservative ways. I guess that’s why they call it fiction. Though I really liked American Wife, and it definitely made me Wikipedia Laura Bush more than once, I think I’ll be steering clear of her memoir. Reality doesn’t sound quite as entertaining.


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