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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed in Del Mar

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A remarkable woman with a remarkable story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Not only would I, but I have, to many friends. Very well orated.

What about Laura Bush’s performance did you like?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

My only disappointment in the audio book is some of the smaller stories and descriptions of the written book were left out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

SHOULD BE UNABRIDGED!

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Classy

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A peek at the past with Laura Bush

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Done with grace and class

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great story

Loved this story of Laura Bush's life from humble beginnings. She remains humble. great lady

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Spoken From The Heart - Laura Bush

I didn’t know what to expect when I purchased this book. The only thing I can say is that it’s the best book I have read in years. What a wonderful insight to a political family. I’d recommend this to anyone who would like to have a better understanding of the ramifications of living a personal life in a very public position. Kudos Mrs. Bush.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Your sweet voice and sharing your family history.

Laura- I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your audio book. My husband has cancer in his brain. He was a geologist for Exxon, and we got to live In Andrews and also visited Midland. Then we lived in England as he traveled for Esso. Your wonderful voice is so warm and comforting to me at this time. Your words bring back memories of our life in West Texas. When we lived in Houston we went to see you before the election. You are a wonderful person, and I am so grateful to hear your beautiful stories. Thank you again, Joanne Clark

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Slow and dull

A very slow and rather boring book. I got about halfway through and felt like I was wasting my time. I was hoping for more. I cannot recommend this book.