- Written By: Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
- Published By: Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, October 24, 2017
- Length: 256 pages
- Source: Final copy of the book was sent to me in exchange for a fair and honest review
Born into a political dynasty, Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up in the public eye. As small children, they watched their grandfather become president; just twelve years later they stood by their father’s side when he took the same oath. They spent their college years being trailed by the Secret Service and chased by the paparazzi, with every teenage mistake making national headlines. But the tabloids didn’t tell the whole story of these two young women forging their own identities under extraordinary circumstances. In this book they take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, with never-before-told stories about their family, their adventures, their loves and losses, and the special sisterly bond that fulfills them.(publisher)
I was eager to read this book because I’ve grown to really admire the work of Jenna Bush Hagar on the Today Show. While politically I’ve not aligned myself with either their grandfather or father, I’ve admired the adults that Jenna and her twin sister Barbara have become. I can’t imagine the spotlight they’ve had to endure. In Sisters First they share how they were really so kept out of this glare. Their youth was spent mostly in Texas, Midland, Dallas and eventually Austin as their father was the governor. With humor and amazing honesty the sisters share how the love and support of parents, grandparents and family shaped who they are now.
Barbara’s story of how as a 6-7 year old and attending the inauguration of George H.W.Bush she just assumed everyone’s grandfather had the same kind of ceremony and parade. Her innocence was precious and so sweet.
These girls were typical young girls and then teens, frustrated and embarrassed by their parents roles in the public. Jenna shares diary entries of how she was sure everyone would assume she was a spoiled brat because the press had written about their starting Austin High School, how completely unfair, as no one would know the real her! They share about their summers in Maine, with cousins and their beloved Ganny and Gampy.
I really loved this book, the pacing is well done and it was over way too quickly. I learned much about the things no one wants to discuss, loss of loved ones, the mistakes we all make, the lives their parents had before them, even the struggle with becoming pregnant Laura and George Bush went through.
No matter where your politics lie, I think there is a great deal to be learned about the bond of sisters, of women supporting other women and pure love that is shared in this book. Thank you again to Tiffany Sanchez and her team at Grand Central for sending me this book.