My First Ladies: Twenty-five Years as the White House Chief Floral Designer [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this book Nancy Clarke reveals the touching, funny, and illuminating story of what it was like to serve under six presidential administrations and to help each first lady find her own personal style when it came to planning flower designs, state dinners, and holiday festivities in the White House. You'll learn how Nancy gave comfort to Nancy Reagan when she discovered she had cancer and how she helped Laura Bush to gain the confidence to select bright, bold flower arrangements over the more conservative ...
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My First Ladies: Twenty-five Years as the White House Chief Floral Designer

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Overview

In this book Nancy Clarke reveals the touching, funny, and illuminating story of what it was like to serve under six presidential administrations and to help each first lady find her own personal style when it came to planning flower designs, state dinners, and holiday festivities in the White House. You'll learn how Nancy gave comfort to Nancy Reagan when she discovered she had cancer and how she helped Laura Bush to gain the confidence to select bright, bold flower arrangements over the more conservative palettes she had used in her first years as first lady. You'll see the deep bond that developed between Nancy Clarke and Barbara Bush and you'll feel what it was like to be standing in a bunker right next to President Bush in the days following 9/11. Only Nancy Clarke can reveal the inside story of what it was like to work for more than 30 years in the White House she called her second home.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this light-hearted memoir, retired White House Chief Floral Designer Clarke shares her memories of working for first ladies from Rosalynn Carter to Michelle Obama. For 25 years, Clarke worked with the presidential spouses and their staffs on a daily basis, creating floral arrangements for everything from the president's private quarters, to elaborate state dinners fit for a queen. Clarke writes in glowing terms about all the first ladies, but she also paints an intimate portrait of each. Her success as chief floral designer depended on her being a careful student of their idiosyncratic tastes and temperaments. Readers may also be interested in learning how national events, such as the 2000 election uncertainty, the Clinton impeachment, and the terrifying events of 9/11, were experienced by the behind-the-scenes White House staff. There are no shocking revelations in these pages, but Clarke's memories will entertain those who would like a glimpse inside America's most famous house. 29 color photographs. (Sept.)
ForeWord Reviews
Nancy Clarke reveals a treasured glimpse into the social life of the White House in My First Ladies. With help from Christine Matheson, she recounts thirty years of experience arranging flowers there. As chief floral designer, Clarke served under six first ladies: Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, and Rosalynn Carter. Nancy's stories of life in the White House are an interesting and rare look into domestic life in America's most prestigious household, and will satisfy readers' curiosity of what it's like to be a staff person, day in and day out.
Library Journal
Chief floral designer at the White House for 25 years, Clarke regales us with stories that place a special emphasis on the First Ladies she knew. Beginning as a floral volunteer during the Carter administration, Clarke worked her way up, getting to know the women of the White House, from Rosalynn Carter through Michelle Obama, along the way. Readers gain insight into the experience of working in the White House, the tremendous planning that goes into events, and Clarke's relationships with the First Families. Overall, her observations are compelling, though details about a First Lady's jewelry or the distance Clarke commutes to work seem like fluffy filler. This memoir is not a tell-all. Though people sometimes seem demanding, no one mentioned in anecdotes, whether a First Family member, another staffer, or a volunteer, ever appears in a negative light, as happens in Roland Mesnier's All the Presidents' Pastries or Connie Mariano's The White House Doctor. VERDICT This is an enjoyable peek behind the scenes for those who can't read enough about our First Families.—Bonnie Poquette, Milwaukee
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416206934
  • Publisher: Sellers Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/19/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 187,753
  • File size: 154 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 26, 2011

    Flowers say a lot

    I really enjoyed the book as Nancy Clarke did a good job illustrating the various personalities of the first ladies, from Rosalyn Carter to Michelle Obama. Ms. Clarke seems to have an amazing memory, and it's interesting just how much flowers could capture the individual personalities of these first ladies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    I definitely recommend it!

    I always loved the work the Nancy and her staff did at the White House. Her insights in the book are very interesting. I am so glad that I purchased it. Anyone interested in floral design and decorating should add this to their library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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