Do you ever play the game? You know, the one where you sit around with a bunch of people and talk about which famous (or almost famous) person you would like to sit down and have dinner with? We play it often. And in the last few years I have often said, "Cherie Blair." I just had a feeling . . .
I mean, here is a woman who is married to the Prime Minister of England, works as an attorney (and in this book I found out she is also a judge), has a family and still manages to show up for official functions.
You can tell from her accent that she isn't exactly "upper crust" and the British Press have a field day reporting on her. Most of the reporting less than flattering, but somehow managing to show her as a REAL flesh and blood person with a real inner life.
Often these conjectures about people are hilariously off base. But in Cherie Blair's case they may not be.
Speaking for Myself is her accounting of her life. Her telling of her own history is frank, opinionated, unsentimental and humorous. It is at times a painfully honest account of who she is (and not always to her benefit).
She is a study in contrasts and contradictions. A high achieving professional and a devoted wife and mother. A political operator who has a tin ear when it comes to handling people and personalities. A pugnacious defender of her husband who sees him warts and all. She has tremendous insecurities about money and this drives her to make some very unwise choices. She is in fact, very human. I ended up liking her a lot!
And even if you don't like her much, her "ringseat to history" make this compelling reading. Her recounting of the events, stories about the people and insights into government make it a fascinating read.
Sure, some of the intricacies of the British legal system and Parliamentary maneuverings are dense and to me as an American a little boring. But her story and her voice will keep you reading.
Here is the publisher's notes:
Even if she hadn't married Tony Blair, Cherie's story would have been amazing. Abandoned by her actor father, she overcame obstacles to become one of the UK's most successful barristers. But when Labour took power in 1997, she faced new challenges: her husband was the first prime minister in recent history with a young family, and Cherie was the first PM's wife with a serious career. Now, she gives a complete account of her own life--an astonishing journey for a woman whose unconventional childhood was full of drama and who grew up with a fierce sense of justice.
In her autobiography she reveals for the first time what it was like to combine life as a working mother with life married to the prime minister. She writes about her encounters with scores of foreign leaders and her friendships with Presidents Clinton and Bush, as well as with Hillary and Laura. And she offers inside details of her relationships with the royals, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana.