In the year 2000, in the closest election in American history, Alice Blackwell’s husband becomes President of the United States. Their time in the White House proves to be heady, tumultuous and controversial. But Alice’s own story—that of a kind, bookish, only child born in the 1940s Midwest who comes to inhabit a life of dizzying wealth and power—is in itself remarkable. Alice candidly describes her small-town upbringing, and the tragedy that shaped her identity; she recalls her early adulthood as a librarian, and her surprising courtship with the man who swept her off her feet; she tells of the crisis that almost ended their marriage; and she confides the privileges and difficulties of being first lady, a role that is uniquely cloistered and public, secretive and exposed.
As her husband’s presidency enters its second term, Alice finds herself increasingly conflicted, as her private beliefs come into ever sharper contrast with her public responsibilities. Ultimately she must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.
Praise for The Man of My Dreams
‘Grave, good-humoured, deeply engaging . . . Brilliant . . . Gratifying and elucidating’ Guardian
‘Razor-sharp . . . Sittenfeld’s prose, which has that elusive ability to seduce you without you ever noticing The Writing, is a joy to read, and her characters a joy to spend time with’ Time Out
‘Delightful . . . Entertaining and thought-provoking’ Observer
‘Clever and refreshing . . . likeable and compelling . . . [Sittenfeld] is witty and astute . . . Impressive but most of all enjoyable’ Sunday Times