In this brave, beautiful, and deeply personal memoir, Laura Bush, one of our most beloved and private first ladies, tells her own extraordinary story.
Born in the boom-and-bust oil town of Midland, Texas, Laura Welch grew up as an only child. She vividly evokes Midland's brash, rugged culture, her close relationship with her father, and the bonds of early friendships that sustain her to this day. For the first time, she writes about the devastating high-school car accident that left her friend Mike Douglas dead and about her decades of unspoken grief.
When Laura Welch first left West Texas in 1964, she never imagined that her journey would lead her to the world stage and the White House. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 1968, she became an elementary school teacher, working in inner-city schools, then trained to be a librarian. At age 30, she met George W. Bush, whom she had last passed in the hallway in seventh grade. Three months later, "the old maid of Midland married Midland's most eligible bachelor." With rare intimacy and candor, Laura Bush writes about her early married life as she was thrust into one of America's most prominent political families, as well as her deep longing for children and her husband's decision to give up drinking. By 1993, she found herself in the full glare of the political spotlight. But just as her husband won the Texas governorship, her father, Harold Welch, was dying in Midland.
In 2001, after one of the closest elections in American history, Laura Bush moved into the White House. Here she captures presidential life in the harrowing days and weeks after 9/11, when fighter-jet cover echoed through the walls and security scares sent the family to an underground shelter. She writes openly about the White House during wartime, the withering and relentless media spotlight, and the transformation of her role as she began to understand the power of the first lady.
©2010 Laura Bush (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
My mistake! Just didn't catch that this was an abridged version until the final words were spoken - "Hope you've enjoyed this abridged version...". I had thought that the book was quite choppy and finally realized why. I will certainly be more careful in the future to stick with the unabridged versions.
Not only would I, but I have, to many friends. Very well orated.
While reading her very personal story, Mrs. Bush maintained her composure, reading on strong and consistent. Her voice is so clear and soothing to listen to.
Her stories of her early childhood, growing up an only child, she shared not only her growth, but also that of Midland, TX and it's inhabitants. The trials and tribulations of a growing town. Very, very moving and I'm certain parts of it brought memories flooding through her, yet her voice never faltered. I was brushing away tears.
My only disappointment in the audio book is some of the smaller stories and descriptions of the written book were left out.
As a rule I do not chose abridged books and do wish this were available unabridged. This however, is so beautifully done and truly heart warming.
[C]ourage is a prerequisite for the practice of all other virtues, otherwise one is virtuous only when virtue has no cost. ~C.S. Lewis
This was such a good listen, narrated and written by Laura Bush, so the sentiment, inflection and even the mild Texan accent made it so much more authentic! She is a good writer, with a natural talent for describing her experiences vividly and movingly. Her perspective is direct, and clearly her own, with insights of private moments of monumentally important events that are touching and telling. It is quite regrettable that Audible has offered this historical book only in an abridged format. There is MUCH missing from the actual book, and it is apparent throughout. I would have LOVED the opportunity to listen to Mrs. Bush's experiences in their entirety, without the editing and elimination of what were clearly key, interesting chapters of her story!
From the tainted media picture, Laura is portrayed as the wall flower, cookie baking librarian. Yet this book sheds light on the amazing accomplishments she did international for women's rights, UN, and put her life in danger multiple times. In addtion, to the multiple trips to Africa for AIDs. Plus, her account gives a human perspective of the White House experience. She is a great lady and we were blessed to have her and W in the White House. Eventhough, W did not control congressional spending. Compared to the Obamas, wow we did not know how good we had it.
Mrs. Bush speaks with grace and dignity. Enjoyed listening to this along with President Bush's book, Decision Points. Both together paint a personally revealing story of the heart they share for each other.
Wife, mother, business women who enjoys a good read.
Laura Bush has written honest, candid, memories of her life. She is down to earth and I could relate to the feelings expressed. What made it special was her own voice tellling the experiences of her youth up through her experiences in the White House. It felt like we were friends and she was sharing her experiences directly to me. I enjoyed my time with Laura.
I've been wanting to read Laura Bush's autobiography since I read the novel, "American Wife," which was based quite a bit on Laura Bush's life. I wished I had downloaded this book a month earlier than when I did because my husband and I were on a road trip in West Texas. Ms. Bush has a wonderful way of writing and expressing the landscape and the realities of the land that she loves and that would have made our trip even better. Her love of West Texas comes out in her writing. That was my favorite part of the book--when she describes her home life, her upbringing, her family. When she gets into the political years it feels like it's a mix of detachment and wonderment (fascination of Who's Who as visitors arrive to the White House events), as she's thrust into a lifestyle that is so far removed with how she was raised and what is at the core of her, yet when she speaks passionately about the causes she championed, her writing picks up and you can tell it delights her. I imagine that when you have a life in the White House you do become a bit detached and there is not a lot to comment on--or that can be commented on without getting political, though I have to confess I rather enjoyed her voicing her frustration with some of the politics and those who you can tell she probably would never invite over for dinner. I was happy to finally get to the last chapters where she talked about post-White House life. Her syntax and beautiful descriptive writing returned back to what it was in the beginning and with that you can tell what really moves her--it's not what happened in the White House.
I too, didn't realize until much later in the book that this was abridged. OH NO! TOO BAD! I would have loved to have heard more. So, I bought the hard back for my mother for Mother's Day so I could page through and pick up parts I missed AND to see photos--I have to admit that's the part I wish Audible would do is provide a link to the photos that are in the book. That's my favorite part of biographies.
By the way, I totally recommend this book and have gushed about it to some of my friends.
What a special glimpse into the lives of Laura President Bush! It is so great to see such wonderful examples of how people should act. I am always proud of how classy both Laura and President Bush are, even when treated poorly by others in government.
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