Curtis Sittenfeld’s new novel, American Wife, is the story of Alice Blackwell, a sweet-faced Midwestern girl who is charmed by a rising politician, marries into one of the richest and most renowned political families in the country, and becomes a beloved First Lady. Sound familiar? Well, Sittenfeld doesn’t hide it – there are many similarities between Alice and current First Lady, Laura Bush. Due out in September, this book is sure to spark discussion. Already, political pundits and newspaper columnists alike have weighed in. But nevermind the possible political ties, one can’t escape the best part of this book – Alice. Despite her modest demeanor and typical approach to life as First Lady, Sittenfeld creates in this former school librarian (that’s right, a fellow librarian!) one of the most complex characters I have read. Sittenfeld’s 2004 Salon article was surely the inspiration for this great read. Regardless of your feelings on the “thinly veiled” inspiration you’ll be hooked too – from the perils of Alice’s adolescence to the pearls of Pennsylvania Avenue.