First daughter Jenna Bush may be known for late-night reveling and getting kicked out of Argentina, but HarperCollins is betting at least $300,000 that she has enough gravitas to carry off a nonfiction book about AIDS and poverty in the Third World. According to Radar Online, “Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope” is bad, but at least Jenna (unlike her dad) endorses the condom.
With such an earnest subject, Ms. Bush has done well to deflect criticism from those who might point out that her prose—comparing Ana’s life to a song, for example (“To me her words and her life are like a song—a song of hope and resilience. I met with Ana for more than six months and listened to the melody and lyrics of her life.”), or the complete and utter lack of any details of place or setting—is, well, not particularly good. And while Ana’s message—abuse is bad, AIDS is a reality—seems obvious to the point of stupidity, the book’s pro-condom/pro-education message is a kamikaze-like leap from Daddy’s nest.
Think of Jenna as Oprah—well-intentioned but grossly overpaid—and “Ana’s Story” as her grandfather’s despised broccoli—mostly good for you but sometimes bland and hard to swallow.