Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life by Jenna & Barbara Bush

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: October 24th, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Memoir, Family, Siblings, Sisterhood, Coming of Age


This is what I like to read about: Family members loving each other and caring about each other and being there for each other. It simply warms my heart. You often see ‘‘perfect’’ families in movies, and it’s true no such thing exists, but you can have glorious bonds with those you are related to, that I am sure of.

Jenna and Barbara Bush have had a crazy childhood, adolescence and even adulthood. These stories show us who both of those women are in the present and who they were in the past. They have experienced a lot—positive and negative—all of which shaped who they are today, but not once did they turn on each other.

Unless, you know, they chose not to share those moments. Now, I won’t be cynical and say that that’s what happened, but sometimes this memoir does feel… overly planned. I like reading books that seem to ‘‘flow’’ as though, yes, the author thought about what they were going to write about, but not so much that you can feel them thinking and organizing what they’re going to say as you’re reading their words.

If this doesn’t make sense to you, hurray. You probably won’t be bothered by it. But what I’m saying is that I would have wanted more spunk. These are lovely, and sometimes saddening stories that I certainly appreciated, but there’s little juicy content, too many ‘‘my grandfather/mother/daughter/sister/etc. is the most wonderful person’’ moments and it becomes less exciting halfway through. I must say I did not care much for the women’s trips outside the country, preferring to read about their upbringing and experiences in and around the White House. I also really enjoyed reading about the way Jenna and Henry’s relationship developed. What a story!

So this was intriguing to a certain extent but there definitely could have been more to it.


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