Mrs. Nixon by Ann Beattie
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This book is marketed as a novel, yet the author uses a pedantic approach-- as though teaching creative writing -- via the imagined life of Pat Nixon, wife of our disgraced President. The author's writing style is quite disconcerting because it reads like a text book. Must she explain the most obvious analogies, i.e., crystal bowl and crystal ball?The many comparisons of the Nixons and/or events in their lives to literary works, such as Chekhov, seems to be a purely academic effort with little merit.
If you want to learn about Mrs. Nixon, you would be far more gratified with PAT NIXON: AN UNTOLD STORY written by her daughter Julie Nixon Eisenhower, biased as it may be. Julie's book is an often quoted resource for this novel. Having read a biography of Mrs. Nixon and her daughter's book about her, I find this novel to be a disappointing exercise. However, if you are looking for a book that might provide some lessons in the writing process, this could be the book for you.
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