Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush

I’m not a Republican and I’m not a Democrat. And when it comes to reading about presidential families, I am most decidedly non-partisan. Which is how I can review The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton (read that review here), and Sisters First by the Bush Twins.

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life (Amazon) (AbeBooks) is the story of Barbara and Jenna Bush, the fraternal twin daughters of former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura.

From the publisher: “Born into a political dynasty, Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up in the public eye. As small children, they watched their grandfather become president; just twelve years later they stood by their father’s side when he took the same oath. They spent their college years being trailed by the Secret Service and chased by the paparazzi, with every teenage mistake making national headlines. But the tabloids didn’t tell the whole story of these two young women forging their own identities under extraordinary circumstances. In this book they take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, with never-before-told stories about their family, their adventures, their loves and losses, and the special sisterly bond that fulfills them”

You don’t have to be a registered Republican to enjoy this book. I’m certainly not. As the book’s title implies, this is the story of two sisters, wildly different yet terribly close. I enjoyed reading about a more personal side to their dad and grandpa, since Presidents are seen one way, as an office holder.

The book goes back and forth with each woman relating a story, or her side of the story. Both are adequate writers. That’s not saying they are bad, but it’s not Pulitzer-Prize winning prose, either. A light, easy read.

Despite having two presidents in the family (only the Adams family can also make that claim), it is the story of the women in their life that held my interest most in Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life (Amazon) (AbeBooks). Jenna and Barbara Bush come from a long line of strong women. They share some very personal stories relating to their mother and both their grandmothers, for whom they were named. It all reveals how strong their family bond is, as well as the bond the women have with each other. It was nice to read about sibling bonds, because I have six siblings, and the bonds I have with most of them are pretty tight.

I do find it funny that the girls chose to share their memories, since many of us remember a time when the Bush twins did not like the media. Jenna Bush was famously photographed sticking her tongue out at the press, and for the past ten years, she’s worked on The Today Show on NBC. It just goes to show you that the teenage years are rough for anyone, but especially if your family is in the White House, but you can grow out of those media-shy ways.

I also liked the fact that both the women made sure to tell us that they don’t always agree with their dad and grandad, or some of the policies they put forth as president. And according to this book, neither did their wives at times.

In a few weeks, I’ll review Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss (Amazon) (AbeBooks) by Jenna Bush Hager, which came out in September 2020.

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