The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty, by Susan Page

Jean Oshima
2 min readApr 14, 2019


For as long as I can remember I have liked Barbara Bush. Not because of anything anyone has said about her but because of what she herself had to say on the few occasions I heard her speak. I like to form my opinions on people based solely on what THEY SAY and not on what others say about them. Though this biography is certainly filled with perspective other than that of Bush herself, it seems pretty aligned with what I’ve heard come out of her actual mouth. I also learned quite a bit about what she thought about the people she dealt with in her interesting life.

It’s funny, reference is made more than once to Barbara Bush being a homemaker type, one who baked pies and played primarily the role of grandmother. For whatever reasons I always knew she was much more than what many had assumed about her.

She was sharp-witted, opinionated, did not always align her political stance with a particular party, and was respected immensely by her family. All of which I admire greatly.

The Matriarch is an easy read and gives the reader a view of the many roles Barbara Bush played in her life. Here are a couple of quotes from the book:

On Barbara Bush: “She wanted something on her schedule everyday aimed at helping others.”

From Barbara herself: “We get so angry with the press for their probing personal questions, but would die for their right to ask them.”

As usual, I listened on Audible.

PS I’d hope she wouldn’t consider this an insult, but I feel I have a lot in common with this pearl-wearing, opinionated lady.

Originally published at on April 14, 2019.



Jean Oshima

See my blog, 5 Heart Rating at I am a Wellness & Wine and Special Events Producer