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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

What if Hillary Rodham had turned down Bill Clinton's proposal of marriage?

‘Awfully opinionated for a girl’ is what they call Hillary as she grows up in her Chicago suburb. 

Smart, diligent and a bit plain, that’s the general consensus. Then Hillary goes to college and her star rises. At Yale Law School, she continues to be a leader - and catches the eye of driven, handsome and charismatic Bill. But when he asks her to marry him, Hillary gives him a firm 'no'.

The rest, as they say, isn’t history. How might things have turned out for them, for America, for the world itself, if Hillary Rodham had really turned down Bill Clinton?

With her sharp but always compassionate eye, Sittenfeld explores the loneliness, moral ambivalence and iron determination that characterise the quest for high office, as well as the painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world ruled by men. 

Uncannily astute and witty in the telling, Rodham is a brilliant reimagining - an unmissable literary landmark and truly a novel of our times.

©2020 Curtis Sittenfeld (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Startlingly good. One of my favourite writers." (Kate Atkinson) 

What listeners say about Rodham

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Rodham...an alternative present

Gripped from the beginning by this book, "Rodham's" plausability is finely crafted by Settenfeld's storyline & wordsmithing, to provide speculation of an alternative USA, circa 2020.

2 people found this helpful

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Utterly compelling! Highly recommend

Absolutely loved this book and could not stop listening. The writing is witty, believable and performance was also great!

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Excellent

Thoroughly recommend. Fascinating narrative and perfectly performed narration.
Would that this book were non-fiction.

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BRILLIANT

I loved this - from beginning to end. . The only negative is that it’s not true!

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Fantastic

Took a little while to settle in with the narrator's voice but once I did it was a great listen

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Fabulous

I Couldn’t put it down. A must read. I totally recommend this book. Very well narrated

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Wonderful

Brillient book about wondering .... what if? A look behind a sliding doors moment that could have lead to America’s first female president

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Absolutely Amazing and Wonderful

I loved every moment of this audiobook. It is so artfully written with the lines of reality and fiction blurred in the most delightful ways.

The narration also is exceptional. I am surprised it hasn’t won dozens of literary awards. Thank you Curtis, Carrington and the village of creative and clever people who helped bring it to life.

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A must-listen for US politics junkies

I couldn’t put this recording down and found every minute I could to listen to it. Such a clever melding of fact and fictional narrative and had me seeing Hilary in a totally different light. The narration was emotive and fluent. Highly recommended!

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Best read in a long time

Incredible book. Loved the narration and wow what a beautifully written piece. Inhaled this audio book.

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  • papapownall
  • 18-06-2020

Fanciful re-imagining is "Hillarious" fun

This book re-tells the life story of Hillary Rodham based on fact up a "Sliding Doors" moment in 1975 when, instead of marrying Bill Clinton she decides to make her own way in politics. The story is written in the first person and we hear of Hillary's early life where is a confident and self opinionated nine year old from Chicago.

At Yale where she is the brightest year in her year she meets Bill Clinton for the first time and is lured by his water melons. Although Bill is not her first lover she falls for him despite his philandering even in these early years. "Male urges have made a fool of me" says Bill as he is caught by Hillary with yet another woman.

The majority of men run for power because they want to, the majority of women run because someone suggests they should. In the re-imagined story, Hillary takes several years to reach her potential driven by a wish to talk truth to power.

In the somewhat fanciful re-telling of the Hillary story, she runs against Bill Clinton for the Democrat nomination and, as you would expect by now, wins following an endorsement from, of all people Donald Trump. We are entering the world of complete fantasy as Hillary Rodham (she never marries) becomes the first woman President of the United States beating Jed Bush. Some of the imagined "facts" are hilarious, eg Hillary's 23 minute acceptance speech and a strange episode where she asks one of her advisers to shave her legs in the back of a car.

It is no surprise that a book of this type has been published in the year of the US Presidential elections. Apparently the author has penned a similar story based on First Lady Bush. Although strange, it is more entertaining that I expected.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-06-2020

Felt authentic and written with love

Brilliantly narrated. As for the writing, I felt I really got to know and like and care for Hillary. Made me think about equality and privilege.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Roderick McKenzie
  • 30-05-2020

A very good listen

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It’s based on ‘what if?’ but contains more than enough facts to navigate us through different events. As a novel, it works really well, and it’s read with warmth and personality.

4 people found this helpful

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  • andrew ward
  • 13-03-2021

Smart and compelling

Initially I thought what a strange idea to fictionalise an alternative narrative for real, living characters but this is very cleverly done. I loved this book. Hillary is likeable because she is so intelligently aware of how she is perceived as a disarmingly intelligent and honest. As in American Wife, the narrator is compassionately self-aware and compellingly reflective. Curtis Sittenfeld is a great writer whose creative imagination and no-nonsense style are hugely appealing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karen Grant
  • 13-02-2021

Brilliant

Had to keep reminding myself this was fiction and not an autobiography, so detailed! Imagination fabulous!

1 person found this helpful

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  • B. Hassan
  • 23-12-2020

Mesmerising - loved it

I devoured this book in days (and For almost of that I was looking after demanding kids in lockdown). I couldn’t stop listening and several scenes were jaw dropping. One time I actually was listening at work and gasped out loud so shocking was the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jason Walsh
  • 04-07-2020

Rushed the ending

Great book, a bit too much sex at the start and then fast forwarded the ending. Who doesn’t love election night?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ms AC Blundy-Mortimer
  • 27-05-2021

One of the Best Books I've Listened to for Years

This is a wonderful, wonderful novel. The poignancy of the life not lived is so perfect, and the history that so nearly might have been you can almost taste it. Brilliant clever and what a shame for Hillary. If only everyone had read this before the election she lost to Trump, I think she'd have won. Fabulous.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-04-2021

Enjoyable easy listen

Nice alternative history exploring what would happen if hilary never married bill. Easy listen and interesting bits of history in with the fiction.

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  • Samantha Wilson
  • 04-03-2021

Amazing

absolutely loved this book. Kept me engaged all the way through. it is a fun read that cleverly mixes reality with fiction. The Narrator was perfect.

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