Book Review

Rodham By Curtis Sittenfeld | Book Review

Hello Everyone! I am Max and I will be manufacturing a book review for a book christened Rodham By Curtis Sittenfeld today. Before we dive into the review section of this article, I would like to thank Times Reads for sending a copy of this novel to me!

So, without further ado, let us get into the review section of this article!

Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Politics

Synopsis:

In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise: Life magazine has covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she’s attending Yale Law School, and she’s on the forefront of student activism and the women’s rights movement. And then she meets Bill Clinton. A handsome, charismatic southerner and fellow law student, Bill is already planning his political career. In each other, the two find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced.

In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, and he proposed several times; although she said no more than once, as we all know, she eventually accepted and became Hillary Clinton.

But in Curtis Sittenfeld’s powerfully imagined tour-de-force of fiction, Hillary takes a different road. Feeling doubt about the prospective marriage, she endures their devastating breakup and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail—one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that involves crossing paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the tradeoffs all of us must make in building a life.

Review:

The edition that I currently have in my possession for this novel has a whooping 417 pages and the first 200 pages bored me to tears. It does not have a clear plot in the beginning or rather, it is under a veil that does not want to be shredded apart to expose what is within. The first 150 pages or so could have been cut shorter to ease the pacing and make the flow of the story better because nothing much happens in between of those pages. However, after getting past that hurdle that is the first 200 pages, the story gets more delightful and more delectable but not a lot of people will stick around to read that because of how utterly dull the first 200 pages are.

The pacing for this novel is what I would say ‘atrocious’ and to sum it all up in two words: train wreck. Not a lot of indispensable events transpire in the first 200 pages that would help to advance the plot and only a handful of vital information appear in the first 200 pages will be referenced towards the end of the novel. I strongly believe that if an editor were to whack off a myriad of scenes from the story, the story will remain the same. The pacing gradually eases into itself after that and the story becomes more pleasant to read and it percolates better. The conspicuous flaw of the pacing is just in the beginning. It is way too slow without any reason of being that slow and because of that, it reduced my reading pace as well. It took me a month to finish this because I do not have the motivation to pick it up and continue. 

I thought the writing style was a little dry in the beginning but as I continued to endeavour through the forest of words that this book encompasses, the writing style gradually grew on me and by the end of the book, I found myself enjoying the writing and the ample of word choices that the author uses for this novel. If you find the writing style stolid in the beginning, I would urge you to continue reading it because as soon as you hit a certain point in the novel, the author adds distinct flavours to the writing that makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

To add on to the paragraph above, after I got past the stolid first 200 pages of this book, I found the writing to be humorous and entertaining. There is a scene in this novel about Hillary Rodham not knowing what GTFO means and she surfs the internet to find out the meaning of GTFO. I laughed for God knows how long and I had to mentally and physically collect myself before continuing. The novel contains many more instances on these type of situations and they are hilarious and it absolutely made my day when I read those scenes. 

Perhaps this is a “me” thing but I have a small complaint to make and I would like to disclose it to all of you: there’s an excessive amount of scenes on copulation and I do not enjoy reading about it. Those sections are written stolidly and some of those scenes can be cut and if it were to be curtailed, it will, again, not change anything. I am okay with a handful of scenes on that but that is not the case with this book and thus, it severely diminished my enjoyment for the novel.

The ending of the novel is one of the best endings I have ever read. The plot ascends slowly into a fantastic climax as the book progresses and it boils down to the ending to not mess up the flow of things and the author definitely did not besmirch the work that she has done before the ending. I felt really satisfied with the ending and I could not imagine any other alternate endings other than the ending that the author provides us with.

In conclusion, I am proffering this novel with a 63% (C) score. It could have been better if the first 200 pages were to be filtered and edited down to the core of its being to accentuate the vital segments of the story but it is what it is.


This is the end of my review for Rodham By Curtis Sittenfeld! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

4 thoughts on “Rodham By Curtis Sittenfeld | Book Review

  1. I am confused about this book. You call it a novel, but it sounds more like a biography. These people are real, so is it a novel or a biography? You say it starts in 1971 when Hillary is at Law School. During that time she meets Bill Clinton and eventually marries him. She is referred to as Hillary Rodham when she looks up GTFO on the internet. If it was before she married Clinton, then the internet was barely a thing. Also, if it’s a biography, a lot of sex is weird.
    I appreciate your review, though. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh the author wrote a fictional tale on real life people. She did a spin on “what if Hillary Rodham hadn’t married Bill Clinton” and with that, the novel incorporates both fictional and several things that happened in real life. // Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the review 🥰

      Like

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