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  • Enjoyable Alternative History

    This is an American alternative fiction novel, asking "What if Hillary hadn't married Bill?"... Would he have become President? What might Hillary have achieved? Spanning decades, the first third of the book mirrors reality: Hillary grows up in Chicago, smart, diligent and a bit plain. At Yale Law in the 70s, she meets Bill Clinton. Mutual attraction and mentally challenging each other ensues. ... Until some sobering realisations hit them both. In this universe, Hillary's academic career gives way to the pursuit of her own political career. The middle third of the book dishes up the experience of a single woman in politics in the 90s, before the final third - described best by The New Yorker - "becomes a kind of revenge fantasy for women who sublimate their own ambitions for the sake of their husband’s careers". Hardworking Hillary becomes a ruthless career politician, making personal and moral compromises for her ambition, while held to impossible standards as a woman in public life. Bill becomes a tech billionaire, self-indulgent, talented but not brilliant. This is a long novel, with slow sections of little consequence, and at times a bit nerdy-girl with love-problems whiny, but that is outweighed by a few sharp, brilliantly insightful scenes - e.g. Hillary describing her relationship with the press, and her commentatory of THAT 1992 60 Minutes interview as an outsider. The author's seamless and clever blending of real moments and famous speeches in altered contexts is fun too.

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