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Rodham

What If Hillary Hadn’t Married Bill?
Narrated by: Carrington MacDuffie
Length: 13 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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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) 

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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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    4 out of 5 stars

Multi-universes in action...

I like this book and I admire the author so much. It's amazing how she wrote this book as a biography but not a biography at the same time. I really like the idea of making Hillary take different choice from the one she chose in her life "The idea of no marrying Bill Clinton". It's really amazing. Many authors are writing about how multi-universes run simultaneously but in different direction. However, no one (that I know of) explore it really, like in this book. It amaze me, how different life could be if we just decided to change one past decision.

There are some ethical argument about this book. As it includes public figures and it dwell in their private life (Who's sleeping with Whom). The author toke the responsibility to show Hilary and other figures (real people) as any normal characters. Did the author get at least a promotion from the main characters?! I'm not sure but I guess the author herself wouldn't want in that position. Important to mention these concerns are for all the people involved including Bill Clinton.

The author gave example of media cruelty and how it's manipulated by people in power.

This book is Amazing and make me want to read Hillary Clinton biography. I think she is amazing women and if she was elected she will do better than many men who entered the White House.

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Excellent

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

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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.

3 people 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?

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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.

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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.

1 person found this helpful