Rodham

by Curtis Sittenfeld
Rodham
by Curtis Sittenfeld

Hillary Rodham was plain, studious and determined at college and, when she also displayed leadership qualities, she drew the attention of the dashing, charismatic, high-achieving Bill Clinton. She enjoyed their ensuing romance, but when he asked her to marry him, she said no.

Instead of making a formidable political partnership, then, Hillary goes it alone.

And the author speculates on what that life and career might have looked like.

In doing so, we are treated to a novel centred around an intelligent, single-minded, ambitious woman, without the usual preoccupation with love and relationships. There are liaisons, of course, and the shadow of Bill is ever present, but I thought this an empowering read.

My political knowledge isn't great, so I wasn't aware of the significance of some of the other players in the story, and I did feel rather uncomfortable about reading a fictionalised life of a living person. But overall, I found this an energising, thought-provoking and stimulating read. I very much enjoyed it.

Review date: April 2020
Publication date: 9th July 2020