I have only read about 1/3 of the book but I wanted to post something about it because I would like to encourage others to read it, regardless of their politics. It is truly worth the read.
The book is written with such honesty and openness that you feel almost as if Laura Bush is speaking directly to you. Her soft spoken demeanor is apparent from page one. You can feel the sincerity of the author as she opens herself to public scrutiny. There is nothing phony about her or the book. She is what you saw when she was First Lady and she continues to be, the genuine article. She has no guile.
From the first page I was smitten with the story of her life. She grew up almost parallel to the time in which I did and her descriptions of those years are dead on.
Tears often came to my eyes in just the first dozen and a half pages because I was so moved as she described the lives of her ancestors, her parents, her family. She was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth; she does not sound spoiled or uppity, she has no bitterness and she never complains. Her story feels heartfelt and real. She is grateful for everything she has been given in her life. The language of the book is easy to read and the emotions engendered in me, by the descriptions, were profound and deep. I believe these same feeling will be evoked for other readers, as well. How different she sounds than many of our current politician's wives!
At this point, I would like to update my comments. I am pretty much through 3/4's of the book now and I have to say I think it should be read by all young adults in high school so they can get an accurate and gentle portrayal of what goes on in the White House even under the most dire circumstances. The serenity Laura Bush exhibits, the calm confidence and good humor in the face of threats, insults and tragedies is an example for all to follow. Only those with the most extremely biased politics will find fault with this book because there is no finger pointing, no insults, no anger at anyone at all, for that matter.
During her tenure as First Lady, the White House experienced so many tragedies for which there was no blueprint in advance to help deal with the situation. From 9/11, to Katrina, to the beltway sniper, to the shoe bomber, to the tsunami, the shuttle explosion, the wars, abu ghraib, the suspected weapons of mass destruction, the demonstrations, the anthrax scare, the demonization of the Bush family and more, this White House never faltered, never made personal attacks against anyone, although it was criticized by a largely politicized media blitz of hate and in my opinion, they would have been within their rights to do so. When she discusses the press coverage, her pain and anguish over the way they falsely portrayed her and her husband is quite evident. The only time there is any indication of displeasure is when she discusses some of the rudest members of the press corps.
Now that I have finished the book I can only say that Laura Bush is a real lady, not only the former First Lady. The President was a gentleman and he had class as well. They would serve as good examples for anyone wanting to choose a career in politics.