Former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush share intimate stories and reflections from the Texas countryside to the storied halls of the White House and beyond.
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 watched over by Secret Service agents and became fodder for the tabloids, with teenage mistakes making national headlines.
But the tabloids didn't tell the whole story. In SISTERS FIRST, Jenna and Barbara take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, as they share stories about their family, their unexpected adventures, their loves and losses, and the sisterly bond that means everything to them.
Barbara Pierce Bush is the CEO and Co-founder of Global Health Corps, an organization that is building the next generation of global health leaders and problem solvers who share a common belief: health is a human right.
★ 09/25/2017Publishers Weekly
In this funny and heartfelt memoir, the twin daughters of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush offer their perspective on growing up in the public eye. Hager (a correspondent for NBC’s Today Show) and Bush (CEO and founder of Global Health Corps) describe their early childhood in Midland, Tex.; attending public high school while living in Austin’s governor’s mansion; and coming of age in the White House under the close scrutiny of the public, the press, and the Secret Service. Some of the anecdotes are hilarious, as when then–Vice President George H.W. Bush (known here as “Gampy”) set out on a nighttime search for his young granddaughter’s misplaced stuffed animal, with a band of Secret Service agents trailing with flashlights, or when prankster Jenna’s water broke at her baby shower (even her husband didn’t believe it because the sisters had fibbed in the past). There are many loving reminiscences of the sisters’ close relationship and of the bond they share with their parents, advice and guidance from their grandparents (with some witty one-liners from grandmother Barbara “The Enforcer” Bush, who said to her son, “I don’t care if you are the president of the United States, take your feet off my coffee table”), as well as sober reflections on the war in Iraq, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the tough and sometimes unpopular decisions the authors’ father made while in office. Readers will be entertained by this charming, wild, and wonderful pair of life stories. Agent: Cait Hoyt, Creative Artists Agency. (Oct.)
Former first daughters Hager (Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope) and Bush (Global Health Corps) provide a revealing account of their lives growing up in the political spotlight. From their early years as granddaughters of president George H.W. Bush to life with their father and then Texas governor George W. Bush, these twin sisters offer a forthright look at their lives. As young adults, with their father as U.S. president, they contemplate the many privileges but also challenges they encountered. They tell of traveling the globe and meeting an incredible range of people, from world leaders to celebrities to those in impoverished and disenfranchised communities. Both reflect upon how criticism of their famous family often made them long for anonymity. They share insights about their appreciation of the Secret Service as well as the trials of having their every move monitored. Particularly heartfelt are tales of how the intense scrutiny by the press often made ordinary activities, such as dating, nearly impossible. VERDICT This illuminating work from the daughters of one of America's most well-known families offers a satisfying behind-the-scenes look into the personal side of politics.—Mary Jennings, Camano Island Lib., WA
Fraternal twins and philanthropists Jenna (Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, 2007) and Barbara fondly portray the peaks and valleys of life carrying the Bush surname.Determined to "de-emphasize that there was anything unduly special about being a Bush," parents George and Laura protectively raised the authors with structure and honor. Jenna, named after her maternal grandmother, was more outspoken, a self-described "boundary pusher," while Barbara remained thoughtful and pensive. Told in alternating narratives, the book honestly illuminates the experience of being a family member throughout the Bushes' two generations of political prominence. Both women write vividly and affectionately about their differences and theorize that perhaps it was their "inborn duality" that made it easier for them to tolerate the random public assumptions made about their parents' yin-and-yang personalities and proclivities. The sisters agree that in many ways, George's boisterousness and penchant for reading and Laura's "closet hippie and Rastafarian" ways mirrored Jenna's melodramatic, emboldened recklessness and Barbara's careful deliberations on life, love, and family. Both contribute an assortment of personal anecdotes about their time growing up in Midland, Texas, and the family lexicon, which had pet names for everyone. As young members of the Bush clan, each sister reflects on living through the presidencies of their grandfather and father, the tabloid media and general public scrutiny their family endured, details about the Secret Service and White House life (ghost stories included), and how some risky globe-trotting in their teens ultimately freed and matured them. Jenna bemoans her loss of anonymity as a charter school teacher during her father's term, which placed her in the cross hairs of critical students, and she admits to an imprudent youth. The description of the crushing reality of their grandfather's descent into Alzheimer's disease is particularly heartbreaking, but the twins' sisterly love is evident throughout.An enjoyably nostalgic scrapbook stocked full of memories from twins born into a political dynasty.
"Deeply personal, emotional and often funny...People
"In this funny and heartfelt memoir, the twin daughters of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush offer their perspective on growing up in the public eye...Readers will be entertained by this charming, wild, and wonderful pair of life stories."Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This illuminating work from the daughters of one of America's most well-known families offers a satisfying behind-the-scenes look into the personal side of politics."Library Journal
"An enjoyably nostalgic scrapbook stocked full of memories from twins born into a political dynasty."Kirkus
"The two first daughters emerge as surprisingly well-adjusted, intelligent young women with strong family bonds in this insightful look at life inside the White House."BooklistFrom the Publisher