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.
Michiko Kakutani published a review in The New York Times in which she stated "For the most part, however, the White House portions of this book feel carefully prepared and vetted: Mrs. Bush lays out a predictable defense of her husband’s decision to invade Iraq and his decision not to visit New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, and she offers only the blandest portraits of administration figures like Dick Cheney, Donald H. Rumsfeld and Karl Rove. In these chapters there is no daylight between Laura Bush and her highly groomed role as first lady.."
Melissa Benn wrote a review in The Guardian and noted "Spoken from the Heart perfectly fits the personal-is-political template. There is a lot of detail of designer dresses worn, official meals enjoyed, furniture and wallpaper restored, tours conducted and, of course, important political people encountered. Tony and Cherie are particular favourites, as is Nicolas Sarkozy, of all people. Vladimir Putin is given the occasional dressing down on the importance of democracy. Barack Obama is chided for his personal attacks on George during the 2008 campaign. Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and "Condi" Rice are all portrayed as utterly delightful."
Entertainment Weekly published a 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.
Elaine Showalter published a review in The Daily Telegraph, in which she noted "this is a calculated and highly controlled autobiography, spoken from the heart, maybe, but more accurately titled “Written from the Head”."
- Elaine Showalter (May 14, 2010). "Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush: review". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
- Jordan, Tina (May 4, 2010). "Laura Bush's 'Spoken From the Heart': A Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
- Laura Bush, a Lonely Texas Girl Far From Home The New York Times 28 April 2010
- Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush The Guardian 7 August 2010
- Ruth Marcus reviews Laura Bush's memoir, 'Spoken From the Heart' Washington Post. May 2, 2010