Winter 2020 Kids Indie Next List
“This fun and informative book is perfect for young history buffs. Middle readers will learn the history of the White House through the lens of the people who lived and worked there over the years, and learn as much about the spouses and children as about the presidents. The best stories come from the hundreds of interviews Brower held with current and former White House staff, many of whom worked there for decades. These staff are amazingly non-partisan in their approach to the job and are dedicated to the families and the institution they serve. Kids and adults will enjoy this exploration, and it will likely spur some kids to start reading biographies of American presidents.”
— Shirley Freeman, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI
A remarkable history with elements of both In the President's Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas.
America's First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.
These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion's 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d'oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level's basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.
Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members--many speaking for the first time--with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades. From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy's private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband's assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon's resignation and President Clinton's impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.