If you think the President has a tough job, imagine being the First Lady! From uprooting your children from their homes, schools, friends, to be in the very public eye; to letting go of any sense of privacy, the ability to go shopping/drive for yourself, or even take a nice quiet walk in a park. You are “on” 24/7 standing next to your husband supporting his decisions (both good and bad), being scrutinized by the public for the way you dress, talk, your weight, your habits, and your contributions to the world at large. You run a staff in the White House and are in charge of decorating and planning White House events.
First Women takes you up close and personal to witness Michelle Obama’s desire to leave the White House as soon as possible hating the constant over attention and lack of any private life. Lady Bird Johnson’s struggles, Patricia Nixon’s ability to hold her head high, Jacqueline Kennedy’s marriage and heartbreak, Rosalyn Carter removing all alcohol from the White House, Nancy Reagan’s refusal to use a paper napkin, Barbara Bush being a part of the White House not only once, but twice with her daughter in law Laura, and Hilary Clinton…. potential to return to the house that blew her personal life up to the public and yet she wants back in.
I absolutely enjoyed Kate Andersen Brower’s book The Residence. I loved how she gave us an inside look into the inner working of the White House through the staff’s eyes. I gobbled up every word and was thrilled when I heard she was going to do it again but this time with the focus on First Women to our Presidents. As someone who values their privacy and down time I can not even imagine a life in the constant spot light.
Karen Andersen Brower once again does an amazing job of sharing with the reader/listener the inner dealings of the First Women of the White House. If you do listen to this one on audio, know that Karen White (who also narrated The Residence) does an exceptional job of capturing each of these women’s essence through her words. I listened to this audio from Minnesota to Chicago and thoroughly enjoyed all of it.
Highly recommended to those of us who enjoy great non fiction with interesting facts about people. I hope that whatever Karen Andersen Brower offers up next includes Karen White’s narration again… enjoy this duo!
I picked up First Women from the Brainerd Public Library