Cherie Blair is a woman who people have very strong feelings about. She attracts adoration and loathing in equal measure. She was widely seen as something of an embarrassment for some of her antics (supermarket sweep, singing in China etc) and yet there was always a feeling, even among her detractors, that behind the sometimes vulgar veneer, there was a deeply intelligent, talented and determined woman.
Her career in the legal profession is testament to her undoubted talent. Reading her book, one is left with the impression that whatever career path she had chosen she would have reached the top on merit.
I'll be honest and say I wasn't particularly looking forward to reading this book. It was a toss-up as to whether I read this or the Prescott book first. I am glad I made the choice I did.
I hope you are sitting down for this, but I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a book so much. It is well written, pacy, informal, gossipy, full of wonderful anecdotes and, contrary to what I expected, did actually tell the reader a lot of new information. It is not a book which seeks to skate over some awkward truths. Cherie Blair seems to be a woman who is fully aware of her own weaknesses and penchant for embarrassing moments. She must be as she gleefully recounts them all, sometimes in a little too much detail, but she does it in an engaging and almost endearing manner.
At times she struggles with her almost hard-wired desire to stand by her man (and hang the consequences) and her obvious potential to get to the top of the legal profession. She doesn't exactly resent the sacrifices she has had to make, but she obviously wonders how far she might have got without her notoriety.
Cherie Blair (or Mrs B, as she was known in Number 10) has been attacked for giving us too uch information in the book about her sexual proclivities. Admittedly, I too winced on occasion and wondered if I really needed to know some of the details she outlines. But then it hit home. She has been seeringly open about that part of her life and much more besides. She's given us the detail and left us, the readers, to judge her on it. In a way, she has done what I tend to do on this blog from time to time - give perhaps too much information about my personal life. I do it because I feel it's part of what the blog is all about. She's done it because she has written an autobiography which she intended to be warts and all.
I am well aware that the majority of the readers of this blog will have an instinctively negative reaction to Cherie Blair. Most of you wouldn't dream of buying the book let alone reading it. All I can say is that you are missing a cracking good read. If you need a book to read on the beach, or by the pool on your summer hols, I can't think of one I would recommend more than this.
Oh dear, that's two Labour women whose hearts I have failed to drive a stake through today. Must be going soft in my old age.
Buy the book HERE.