Spoken from the Heart

Narrated by: Laura Bush
Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (493 ratings)

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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

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What listeners say about Spoken from the Heart

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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.

18 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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!

8 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Better than expected, another strong women in the White House.

I have a goal to listen to all the First Ladies books this year. Laura really surprised me, we had more in common than just being women. She did so many awesome things for women and children around the world, I wish she could have done some of that for the native Americans. Good work Laura.

1 person found this helpful

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I am split.

I liked getting Laura Bush’s views and opinions on what was going on behind the scenes during some significant points in history, but part of the book felt like just a checklist of things that happened with no commentary at all.

1 person found this 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 person found this 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 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good to Know

I'm very glad that I listened to this book. I could go so many directions with this review, but I believe my main takeaway is that the words from Scripture to, "always be humble and kind" are more than just good advice: they are essential to wisdom. Be humble because there is always someone who knows more than you do, has been to more places than you have, rubbed shoulders with more influential people than you have, and done more good deeds than you probably ever will. Always be kind because there's there's so much you really do not know about any given person . The rich variety of Laura's experiences and the pain she suffered when not just her husband's decisions but his character and ability were attacked breathe life and depth into this admonition that bears repeating: Always be humble and kind. Thank you, Laura Bush, for the visual that you gave us, and for the one you lived among us.

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So heartfelt and optimistic!

So many familiar events seen through the eyes of beautiful Laura Bush. I grew up in Dallas, taught school and love books. I could see so many of the events in my mind’s eye. This book was a pure delight. Thank you.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Great story of a great Christian women and patriot! Its gives an inside view of the life of a First Lady.