Sittenfeld manages to create a three-dimensional character who the reader grows to appreciate and understand through the course of the novel. Hilary Rodham Clinton doesn’t owe us this much of her life just because she is a public figure, but the book, built around a great deal of nonfiction sources, allows us to begin to understand some of the situations and decisions she is faced with, and is very on the nose about the different expectations we have of women and men in public office.
She’s not necessarily a likable lead, but she is certainly relatable on many levels. Her frustrations with her husband and marriage, her relationship with her teenage daughter and her desire to want more with her life, whilst also holding on to the things that she knows she should be grateful for. And here lies what I found specifically interesting about the book. The exploration of desires verses morality and the idea of being “grateful” especially as a woman, at the expense of our own happiness.
“Riot, Write, Rest: On Writing as a Muslimah” by Sumaya Kassim. “we are more than just anthropologists of whiteness; we have lives outside other people’s fantasies of us” Sumaya shares her struggles as a writer always aware of the expectation society has of her and the limited archetype of Muslim women. She writes “whatever you fight, you strengthen. Whatever you resist, persists. When we work hard to humanise ourselves, the battle is already lost.” Her insights into the creative industry alongside her personal and spiritual journey gives credence to her belief that writing is revolutionary, especially as a Muslim women.