REVIEW: Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld #BLOGTOUR

Thursday, 2 July 2020

REVIEW: Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld #BLOGTOUR graphic

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. The rest, as they say, isn’t history. 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.

For much of the Western world, Hillary Clinton (née Rodham) has always been a figure of fascination: her marriage to Bill, his subsequent affair and her (still utterly confounding) decision to forgive him, has been on the tips of people’s tongues since the early 90s. But, as we all now know, Hillary has always been more than just a jilted woman by a sleazy man’s side. 
Curtis Sittenfeld's searing new novel, Rodham, examines the life and character of the former-Presidential Nominee; managing to paint a picture far more vivid than the Democratic campaign was ever able to. In it, Sittenfeld brings to life the intelligence and the passion that long defined Hillary even before her first steps in the spotlight - her conviction in her ideals, her desire to do what is right, her tenacity and her follow-through. But, perhaps more importantly (and the reason behind why this book continues to be the subject of such hype), she asks the question “what would have happened if she had turned down Bill’s third (and successful) marriage proposal?”. 
It is a fascinating question; one that shapes the Democratic party, and thus the fabric of American life and politics, for the decades that have followed it. It is interesting to consider how one decision made by one person can have such a difference. But of course, this is Hillary Clinton we are talking about here.
And, as the book and the readers come to realise, though behind every successful man is a woman who has sacrificed every thing, behind every successful woman is simply herself. 

Thanks to Doubleday and Anne Cater for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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