Spoken from the Heart
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster (Scribner)|
Bush recounts the car accident that she caused at age seventeen in which a friend and classmate was killed and she was also scarred. She writes that the 1963 crash "is a guilt I will carry for the rest of my life".
She describes an idyllic life growing up in Midland, Texas. She calls the town "a place of ice cream sundaes…and Saturday morning pony rides." After relating the beginning of her relationship with George W. Bush, she recalls the jibe made by a neighbor that "Can you imagine? The most eligible bachelor in Midland marrying the old maid of Midland?"
She expresses support for Bush administration decisions such as the Invasion of Iraq. She concludes, "I am proud that, as president, George acted on principle, that he put our country first and himself last." She notes disagreements over some issues. She specifically recounts asking her husband "about not making gay marriage a significant issue" in the 2004 re-election campaign, while 'family values' in opposition to same-sex marriage was chosen as a defining Bush theme.
Reviews and responses
Entertainment Weekly published a mixed review by Tina Jordan. She wrote, "Anyone who wants to know what makes Laura Bush tick will come away disappointed." Jordan commented as well that Bush "seems almost a shadowy spectator in her own memoir", but Jordan praised the "sweetness and poignancy" of the first few sections of the book covering Bush's childhood and marriage.
"Bush’s account of her life before and after George W is cautious, pleasantly soporific, sweetly uncontroversial and untroubled by self-doubt. Pretty, motherly, modestly dressed, conscientious about her duties, unswervingly loyal to her husband, Laura Bush was a popular First Lady, who escaped the anger, derision and low approval ratings bestowed on the president. As her autobiography shows, she has a knack for seizing the inoffensive feminine middle ground."
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