Rodham: What if Hillary hadn't married Bill? (Paperback)
  • Rodham: What if Hillary hadn't married Bill? (Paperback)
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Rodham: What if Hillary hadn't married Bill? (Paperback)

(author)
£8.99
Paperback 432 Pages
Published: 10/06/2021
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Waterstones Says

Doing for Hillary Clinton what she did for Laura Bush in American Wife, Sittenfeld dexterously imagines a world in which the presidential hopeful never married Bill Clinton.

What if Hillary Rodham had turned down Bill Clinton's proposal of marriage?

In American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld painted a picture of an ordinary American girl who found herself married to a President - basing it on the life of Laura Bush. In this new novel, she takes another ordinary American girl, Hillary Rodham ('You are awfully opinionated for a girl, Hillary'), and explores how her life might have turned out if she had stayed an independent woman.

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.

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9780552776608
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 303 g
Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

This addictive novel is the SLIDING DOORS of American politics. Gripping - STYLIST

A lot of fun. A wonderful, sad dream of what might have happened - GUARDIAN

An explosive new book - GRAZIA

Sittenfeld's RODHAM offers the catharsis of uncomplicated regret - THE NEW YORKER

While telling a compelling story, RODHAM provides an insightful analysis of the function of sexim in our political discourse. Sittenfeld is at her wittiest when recreating the men who dominate American politics - WASHINGTON POST

A nauseating, moving, morally suggestive, technically brilliant book that made me think more than any in recent memory about the aims and limits of fiction - NPR

Hugely enjoyable - WALL STREET JOURNAL

This isn't just fiction as fantasy, this is fiction as therapy. A serious work of literary fiction designed to rally the spirits of liberal readers - SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

‘An ingenious yet plausible glimpse of an alternative reality, and so involving that it occasionally comes as a shock to realise that there is a different reality, and we are living in it’ - THE SPECTATOR

‘By tilting history on its side, Sittenfeld makes Hillary seem a fresh character and remarkably sympathetic’ - EVENING STANDARD

‘RODHAM explores the mysterious territory between the inner and outer lives of a person who has long been a source of fascination, adulation and loathing’ - FINANCIAL TIMES

‘Getting inside a living person’s head sounds like a colossally bad idea, but Sittenfeld makes it convincing here, just as she did with a character based on First Lady Laura Bush in her 2008 novel, AMERICAN WIFE’ - BBC CULTURE

Deviously clever . . . Sittenfeld’s Hillary is both a player in the Game of Thrones and a romance novel heroine. She’s a brilliant badass who has found her voice and knows how to use it. She’s whoever she wants to be - THE OPRAH MAGAZINE

As Hillary finds her groove, so the momentum and entertainment builds, as does your admiration for how ingeniously and plausibly Sittenfeld has re-written the script - DAILY MAIL

A counterfactual novel ... throbs with energy - TLS

A fascinating glimpse into an alternative future - DAILY MIRROR

Pacy... plenty of sex and gossip - and a cameo from a certain yellow-haired, orange-faced president-to-be... ripe for TV adaptation - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

A brilliantly smart re-imagining - WOMAN AND HOME

Sittenfeld's writing is so fine, her characters so vivid, her empathy so profound that she manages to absorb the reader on a level that transcends partisanship. In 2020, that was a remarkable achievement and an enormous gift to her readers - THE NEW YORKER

It ends up being a love letter to a type: the female intellectual, who is given none of the licence of her less talented male peers. At the end, i found myself saying Oh My God - OBSERVER

A triumphant feminist reinvention. Sittenfeld is the bard of presidential female adjacents - VOGUE

RODHAM is wide- ranging political anthropology, concerned not so much with what makes Hillary tick as it is with the culture around her and how she might have shaped events, and been shaped by them, if the pieces of reality's jigsaw were rearranged just so. It's stippled with clever mischief - NEW YORK TIMES

A smartly structured character study and a stay- up- all- night plot . . . A captivating and durable story containing rooms within rooms. RODHAM turns into a high- speed bildungsroman about a woman of formidable intellect and self- insight. - THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

It's the genius of Sittenfeld's prose that we come to understand this ambivalence,as well as the deep conflicts in this complicated character. In the longing and loneliness, the anger as well as ambition, this Hillary makes RODHAM a compelling portrait of a future that might have been. - THE BOSTON GLOBE

Tantalizing . . . part thought experiment, part wish- fulfillment fantasy . . . delectably discussable, a book tailor- made for book clubs. - USA TODAY

Wildly compelling . . . What RODHAM is interested in is examining what feminine ambition looks like when it is untethered from a man. . . . Sittenfeld is free to invent, and the reality she builds is deliciously dishy. - VOX

Thought-provoking and compelling - SUNDAY EXPRESS

A moving feat of feminist and novelistic imagination - THE TABLET

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Piedwarbler

“Absorbing alternative history of Hillary’s life”

I am a fan of Curtis Sittenfeld and particularly love American Wife, based on the life of Laura Bush, so I had this on pre-order from March, as it wasn’t published until July here in the UK.
I wasn’t disappointed;... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 28
Book Off I'm Reading

“A fantastically well written and intriguing read...”

I love the concept of this novel and Sittenfeld’s writing is outstanding and easy to read considering the complex subject matter. I must admit that I know next to nothing about American politics and although a lot of... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 28

“An interesting alternate history”

Hillary refused Bill's offer of marriage twice, it was only on the third time that she accepted him. Curtis Sittenfeld's newest novel imagines what could have happened if she had refused him a third time -... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 24

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