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Melania Trump is an enigma. Regardless of your political leanings, she is fascinating - a First Lady who, in many ways, is the most modern and groundbreaking in recent history. A former model whose beauty in person leaves people breathless, a woman whose upbringing in a communist country spurred a relentless drive for stability, both for herself and for her family. A reluc Melania Trump is an enigma. Regardless of your political leanings, she is fascinating - a First Lady who, in many ways, is the most modern and groundbreaking in recent history. A former model whose beauty in person leaves people breathless, a woman whose upbringing in a communist country spurred a relentless drive for stability, both for herself and for her family. A reluctant pillar in a controversial presidential administration who speaks five languages and runs the East Wing like none of her predecessors ever could - underestimate her at your own peril (as a former government official did and was summarily fired). But who is she really? In Free, Melania we get an insider's look at Melania Trump, from her childhood in Slovenia to her days in the White House, and everything in between. We see the Trump family dynamics that Melania has had to navigate, including her strained relationship with Ivanka. We get a rare glimpse into what goes into her famous and sometimes infamous clothing choices (including perhaps the real message behind Melania’s controversial jacket, “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”, which she wore while visiting the U.S.-Mexico border), and how a publicly quiet Melania actually speaks very loudly. And we get a behind-the-scenes look at her often eyebrow-raising relationship with Donald Trump, from their beginnings to becoming the most unusual First Family in modern history.


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Melania Trump is an enigma. Regardless of your political leanings, she is fascinating - a First Lady who, in many ways, is the most modern and groundbreaking in recent history. A former model whose beauty in person leaves people breathless, a woman whose upbringing in a communist country spurred a relentless drive for stability, both for herself and for her family. A reluc Melania Trump is an enigma. Regardless of your political leanings, she is fascinating - a First Lady who, in many ways, is the most modern and groundbreaking in recent history. A former model whose beauty in person leaves people breathless, a woman whose upbringing in a communist country spurred a relentless drive for stability, both for herself and for her family. A reluctant pillar in a controversial presidential administration who speaks five languages and runs the East Wing like none of her predecessors ever could - underestimate her at your own peril (as a former government official did and was summarily fired). But who is she really? In Free, Melania we get an insider's look at Melania Trump, from her childhood in Slovenia to her days in the White House, and everything in between. We see the Trump family dynamics that Melania has had to navigate, including her strained relationship with Ivanka. We get a rare glimpse into what goes into her famous and sometimes infamous clothing choices (including perhaps the real message behind Melania’s controversial jacket, “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”, which she wore while visiting the U.S.-Mexico border), and how a publicly quiet Melania actually speaks very loudly. And we get a behind-the-scenes look at her often eyebrow-raising relationship with Donald Trump, from their beginnings to becoming the most unusual First Family in modern history.

30 review for Free, Melania: The Unauthorized Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Crissi

    First off, anyone rating this book based on their feelings about the current residents of the White House instead of on the book is being pretty unfair. I am not a fan of the current residents of the White House (vote, people!). However, I've often been curious about the First Lady, wondering if she is a victim of circumstance, a prisoner of sorts. This book shed a lot of light on Melania, who has lived her life very privately while in the public eye. There are things I learned about Melania tha First off, anyone rating this book based on their feelings about the current residents of the White House instead of on the book is being pretty unfair. I am not a fan of the current residents of the White House (vote, people!). However, I've often been curious about the First Lady, wondering if she is a victim of circumstance, a prisoner of sorts. This book shed a lot of light on Melania, who has lived her life very privately while in the public eye. There are things I learned about Melania that I respect, and things I am still confused about, and things I wish she had done differently. At most, this book helped me to see that Melania is NOT a victim of the White House, that while she may not want to be in this very public role, she wholeheartedly supports her husband's wishes to be there. Melania has more morals than her husband (immigration camps), but she also has some aligned beliefs, as well (ugh, birthers). Melania's biggest role is as Barron's mother, which she has devoted most of her energy toward. And her fashion choices most definitely are made as statement pieces, though her silence about the statement makes these choices often misconstrued by the public (I really don't care, do u?). Melania does not explain herself, ever. She doesn't see the need. The title of the book was clever, though I've seen so many reviews who don't get it. How could you not? At the beginning of 45's presidency, Melania's hand swatting and public resistance to her husband were met with public protests of "Free Melania." Adding a comma in the title lets us know that Melania is NOT a victim, but a free agent. In fact, when it comes to 45, Melania may have the most sway of anyone in this world (besides Ivanka, which is also covered in the book). The reason for 4 stars and not 5: I think this was a very well researched book, and it really helped me to know Melania so much more. However, there were times when it felt like a PR piece on the First Lady rather than a biography. While the author is very clear about her disdain over 45, she is also obviously enamored by the First Lady (and probably wants to keep writing about the First Lady without pushback). I was able to see Melania in a more positive light because of this book, but I couldn't help wondering how much of that was swayed by the author's personal opinion rather than fact. However, this book read like a novel and a very enjoyable read. The author not only did her research, she's a very good writer. If you're curious about the secret mind of the First Lady at all, I definitely recommend this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I really don't care, do u?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    For a book that frequently points out how the First Lady is misunderstood and a complex, calculating woman, the facts in the book portray her as she is most commonly viewed, with little to no complexity and pretty much the same as any millionaire’s third wife. It just seems a little ridiculous to talk about how complex a person she is and then designate a third of the book to describing what she wore to certain events.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jule

    An interesting look at this enigmatic woman. Her relationship with Trump is almost impossible to comprehend and while she has some admirable qualities, he almost epitomizes the seven deadly sins, so perhaps her one obvious vice is greed. It seems the only explanation.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    I think most people have a confused view of First Lady Melania Trump. Is she a shy immigrant woman, married to Donald Trump, who stays in the background, living with her parents and son? Or is she her husband’s partner in his campaigning and her position as FLOTUS? Not much actually has been written on Melania Trump, until this biography of her, “Free, Melania”, by journalist Kate Bennett. I’m not sure why the comma has been inserted in the title, but it was obviously done at Kate Bennett’s dire I think most people have a confused view of First Lady Melania Trump. Is she a shy immigrant woman, married to Donald Trump, who stays in the background, living with her parents and son? Or is she her husband’s partner in his campaigning and her position as FLOTUS? Not much actually has been written on Melania Trump, until this biography of her, “Free, Melania”, by journalist Kate Bennett. I’m not sure why the comma has been inserted in the title, but it was obviously done at Kate Bennett’s direction. Bennett’s book is frankly not as well written as many of political bios I’ve read, but I will say it’s probably more even handedly written than most. The reader gets the good - and Bennett does include some positive views of Melania Trump - and the bad. As the wife of Donald Trump, there is more negative than positive about Melania. The author looks at the subtle ways in which Melania keeps some control in her marriage, though the Trump marriage doesn’t seem extremely close. They sleep in separate bedrooms on separate floors at the White House, first presidential couple for many years to occupy separate suites. As with most marriages, the Trumps have their own communication. Melania sometimes shows her approval - or disapproval - of her husband by using the clothes she wears to make a point. What did that “pussy bow” really mean when she wore it to her husband’s debate in 2016? And does her wearing of pants and a jacket mean to irritate a husband who likes his women in short, tight skirts? His communication to her showed in the apparent pain she must have felt at Trump’s inauguration, when Trump turned around to her and made some sort of remark to her that left her crestfallen. Her face literally collapsed in despair. Kate Bennett’s book is filled with bits of gossip. Melania doesn’t seem to have much use for Karen Pence (who does?) but is a devoted mother to Barron. To her credit, Bennett doesn’t include much about Barron in the book. Melania seems to have a troubled and distant relationship to Trump’s older children (who wouldn’t?) By the end of the book, I was still confused about how I felt towards our First Lady. But that’s often the result of a fairly evenly written biography.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jacinda

    Read this book in two sittings and decided that this book would be my first where I take the time to write a review simply because some reviewers are so obviously biased that their takeaways and comments I’d rate quite poorly. So firstly I’d start off with stating that my political opinion is that instead of people focusing on such a visible short term occupant to “blame” or “thank” for American policies, they should instead open their eyes to the lifers acting behind the curtain that move mount Read this book in two sittings and decided that this book would be my first where I take the time to write a review simply because some reviewers are so obviously biased that their takeaways and comments I’d rate quite poorly. So firstly I’d start off with stating that my political opinion is that instead of people focusing on such a visible short term occupant to “blame” or “thank” for American policies, they should instead open their eyes to the lifers acting behind the curtain that move mountains in America’s politics. I add this bit here to at least demonstrate a more unbiased review vs what others have provided. Now back to the book. It is probably the most-detailed biography of a woman who is so whole-heartedly closed off to the public that you could barely obtain enough information to judge her (and if you’re judging her— I’d ask on what grounds?) You see a different side of her in this book and the biggest takeaway for me is how strong her loyalty is, both what she gives and what she receives, which has become an exceedingly rare trait in people. Her style is impeccable and she uses her outfits and her silence as weapons. I think the fascination with her behavior is more unique to Americans as her behavior is more normal for women growing up in a communist background. Women of that origin are known to be more silent, more cunning, and certainly more observable than the average American who is used to being loud both in voice and in action to make themselves heard. A good and quick glimpse into her life is during an NYU speech when an attendant asks her “If Trump wasn’t rich, would you be with him?” To which she quickly retorts back with “If I weren’t beautiful, would he be with me?” Say what you will about their relationship, and about her, but make no mistake she knows exactly what she’s in for which is more than I can say about other women and their relationships. So if you’d like to see as detailed of a glimpse as one can get from her, then this book is for you. Maybe you’ll actually learn to accept her lesson of “...we don’t have to tell everybody everything. We just don’t. And it works out just fine”.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    I can't believe I just read this. Received this as sort of a joke gift. Did I read several pages about a custom white hat? Yes. Did I learn anything new about the first lady? Kinda. Transactional and unapologetically so seems to sum up the relationship of MT and DJT. They both appear to have strong personalities, revel in doubling down, act in defiance of what's expected, and troll the media, all for good measure. In that way, they are perfect for each other. No mention of divorce papers filed b I can't believe I just read this. Received this as sort of a joke gift. Did I read several pages about a custom white hat? Yes. Did I learn anything new about the first lady? Kinda. Transactional and unapologetically so seems to sum up the relationship of MT and DJT. They both appear to have strong personalities, revel in doubling down, act in defiance of what's expected, and troll the media, all for good measure. In that way, they are perfect for each other. No mention of divorce papers filed before inauguration, as was the rumor at the time. Discussed the famous "I don't care jacket," and gave a bizarre explanation. Also gave a scathing review of Ivanka, which was intriguing. The author seems to have enough criticisms to seem balanced, but in the end it seems to be a more sympathetic portrayal. An easy read about a very enigmatic, and seemingly strong-willed, person. (And learning more about being in the first lady's press pool sounds really, really boring)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kate Guinan

    I know, I know....I thought since it was written by an CNN reporter assigned to cover the first lady......Ms. Bennett's credibility goes out the window when she takes several opportunities to make catty remarks about the Clintons and the Obamas, particularly Michelle Obama. She then goes on to praise Stephanie Grisham (Trump's current do nothing press secretary, who hasn't held a press conference in almost a year) and was/is Melania's communications director. That made me laugh out loud. Bennett I know, I know....I thought since it was written by an CNN reporter assigned to cover the first lady......Ms. Bennett's credibility goes out the window when she takes several opportunities to make catty remarks about the Clintons and the Obamas, particularly Michelle Obama. She then goes on to praise Stephanie Grisham (Trump's current do nothing press secretary, who hasn't held a press conference in almost a year) and was/is Melania's communications director. That made me laugh out loud. Bennett does seem thoroughly taken with the lingerie model from Slovenia. If she used the word "independent" once she used it a 100 times. A women who has sold herself to an old man for money is many things but "independent" doesn't spring to mind. Ms. Bennett seems to think Melania's indifference to what people think, traditions and responsibility to her position is "ground breaking". And fashion is her stealth weapon! She buys off the rack like you and me (if we had lots of disposable income)! If even a fraction of this account is true, it confirms Melania Trump is as cold, calculating, vapid and self-serving as her husband and cares as little about her responsibility to this country as he does.

  9. 4 out of 5

    RNOCEAN

    A fair biographical take on a first lady. I left the book not feeling any different about Melania than I did prior to reading it. I don't have any feelings good or bad about her. I sincerely doubt, however, that she will go down in history as having any impact whatsoever as a first lady. I find her marriage, such as it is, to the president as one of convenience, benefiting them both for various reasons. I don't see this union as one of love and respect at all, but, as I said conveniently benefit A fair biographical take on a first lady. I left the book not feeling any different about Melania than I did prior to reading it. I don't have any feelings good or bad about her. I sincerely doubt, however, that she will go down in history as having any impact whatsoever as a first lady. I find her marriage, such as it is, to the president as one of convenience, benefiting them both for various reasons. I don't see this union as one of love and respect at all, but, as I said conveniently benefiting both parties. Too each his own I say. Now on to books with more breadth and depth to them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Callie

    Gosh, it was a little ridiculous how hard I had to look for this book on Goodreads, it's almost as if they are trying to hide it. When I initially started this book, I wasn't sure it was going to get a good rating, because you can tell the author really despises President Trump, and her political leanings were obvious. But then I read other reviews in which leftists were LIVID that she didn't completely trash Melania, and that made me like it better. #perspective Overall, especially for being wr Gosh, it was a little ridiculous how hard I had to look for this book on Goodreads, it's almost as if they are trying to hide it. When I initially started this book, I wasn't sure it was going to get a good rating, because you can tell the author really despises President Trump, and her political leanings were obvious. But then I read other reviews in which leftists were LIVID that she didn't completely trash Melania, and that made me like it better. #perspective Overall, especially for being written by a CNN reporter, this is a pretty balanced look at Melania's life and her marriage to Trump and role as First Lady. She writes about Melania's early life and how she met and married Donald Trump. However, alot of what she discusses is everything that I'm sure you've all seen in the news from the 2016 election, but while giving a closer look at Melania and her reactions specifically. I really loved the behind-the-scenes information about her life, her fashion, and her steps into being the First Lady of the United States. Very interesting if you have any interest in knowing more about Melania Trump. I like her more after reading this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Barbpie

    Quite fascinating. Melania comes off better than you’d expect despite having married a monster.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    A fair and impartial treatment of the First Lady. Unfortunately, she is not that interesting a personna. And worse, I kept having nightmares about her husband while reading this acccount.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I'm glad I used the audio version of this book. I was able to increase the speed of the reading just to get through this book. It became clear early in the book that this was the author promoting her career of following First Ladies. I can't count all the times the author made reference to being "the one" to break a story about either Melania or the President. If you want to know what outfit Melania was wearing at just about every event she attended- designer, color, and what message Melania was I'm glad I used the audio version of this book. I was able to increase the speed of the reading just to get through this book. It became clear early in the book that this was the author promoting her career of following First Ladies. I can't count all the times the author made reference to being "the one" to break a story about either Melania or the President. If you want to know what outfit Melania was wearing at just about every event she attended- designer, color, and what message Melania was sending with that particular outfit- this is the book to read. This was a disappointing read. I wanted to learn who Melania is as a person, her background living in a communist country, and when she learned to speak 5 languages. I don't care how she compares and differs from Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Laura Bush.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julianne Williams

    This book spent far too much time on Melania's fashion choices and what the author thinks Melania was thinking about different situations. The fact that the author has complex ideas on what Melania's choice of hat or bow really means does not equate to Melania having those thoughts. The author paints a picture of a very calculating and complicated First Lady, but I just don't see the evidence for it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Should have known. Very superficial, author more obsessed with fashion than the subject, possibly. No real insights here.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Daniella Young

    Well-written and entertaining, and not overtly biased or political, even though the author is clearly not a Donald Trump fan. In fact, the concept of the whole books is about showing who the first lady is, independent of her mogul husband--something that actually sets Melania quite apart from many other past first ladies. Melania is a woman whose ultimate life goals were always to be a trophy, sexpot wife and a mother, check and check. As such, she will always remain in some ways impossible to u Well-written and entertaining, and not overtly biased or political, even though the author is clearly not a Donald Trump fan. In fact, the concept of the whole books is about showing who the first lady is, independent of her mogul husband--something that actually sets Melania quite apart from many other past first ladies. Melania is a woman whose ultimate life goals were always to be a trophy, sexpot wife and a mother, check and check. As such, she will always remain in some ways impossible to understand for women who desire individual achievements based on their own intellect, skill or drive (I am one of these women). That being said, it's interesting to see the authors argument that, Melania, by virtue of having complete control (in many ways) over Donald Trump, who just so happened to ascend to the most powerful office in the world, actually exercises as much, if not more, power than many of the more obviously 'powerful and political' first ladies in modern history. Love her or hate her, when reading this book it's hard to deny that by virtue of her "I don't care what people think about me" attitude, much of which is presented as a Slovenian thing by the author, she often achieves what most women are striving for, the ability to do what she wants when she wants it, without the crushing pressure bowing to societies dictates, unfairness, and double-standards for women. She wasn't stumping for Trump because she didn't want to, she didn't move into the White House immediately because "First Lady" is not a paid job and she didn't want to, and she made the Christmas trees red because she wanted to. A rather important argument, hidden in the middle of the book, comes when discussing Melania's reaction to Stormy Daniels and other rumored affairs that her husband had. Melania received a huge amount of criticism, from both side of the aisle, about her decision to essentially not 'stand by her man.' The author points out the incredible amount of misogyny in the idea that any woman should be accepted to smile and hand-hold a man who has treated her wrong, (ala the way that Clinton and many other political spouses have done in the past) regardless of how they truly feel. Melania was essentially making a very bold statement, that all feminists should be a fan of, when she chose to give Donny the cold shoulder. All-in-all, the book left me with an more in-depth perspective of who our First Lady is. That being said, the idea that Melania Trump is a knowing partner and has ruthlessly executed for herself the exact life that she wants doesn't exactly make me any more of a fan, I think that makes her more complicit than the general population thinks that she is in most of Trumps sins, but the whole point of the book is that Melania Trump doesn't care, do you? Well written and an easy read, with fun insights into fashion diplomacy. If you are expecting some special 'insider scoop', you will be disappointed. This is an unauthorized biography from the perspective of a CNN reporter who has covered various First Ladies for most of her career. The book uses generally publicly available information combined with the author's own insights and assessments.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Isabella

    I have to preface this review with my reasons for reading this book which I would never have read otherwise. My son, who knows I am interested in Melania bought it for me for Christmas. He meant well but did not realize it’s the “unauthorized biography” and written by a CNN reporter. This is the second insufferable book I’ve read in 2020. 2020 has not been a good year so far on many levels! This book is less insufferable (I realize that doesn’t make sense but you know what I mean) than the last o I have to preface this review with my reasons for reading this book which I would never have read otherwise. My son, who knows I am interested in Melania bought it for me for Christmas. He meant well but did not realize it’s the “unauthorized biography” and written by a CNN reporter. This is the second insufferable book I’ve read in 2020. 2020 has not been a good year so far on many levels! This book is less insufferable (I realize that doesn’t make sense but you know what I mean) than the last one. The other insufferable book at least made intelligent sounding errors or insults about people (some of the same people, actually) and was quite clever at producing them slyly. This book makes name calling and insulting worthy of an elementary playground social experiment. It is really that bad! Early on the author explains she will not write about Baron except when absolutely necessary. How valiant as she writes lies and half truths about his parents. In her writing you can deduce that she genuinely does like Melania and can’t really find anything wrong with her except for her choice in husbands AND that she is not Michelle Obama. Other than that, the author, try as she might, can’t find anyone to say anything bad about her. Melania is downright kind and sweet and loved by everyone she comes by and is even more beautiful in person...dagnabit! This is surprising, really, since she points out Melania comes from a country where people don’t smile...wow that’s a generality. The author is like having a friend who is nice as can be when you’re together then talks badly about you, your family, your background and your decisions behind your back. I think we have all had one of those in our past. It made me feel uneasy...as if I was forced to listen to gossip about a mutual friend. It’s uncomfortable and what usually ends up happening in cases like this is instead of having a poor opinion about the targeted friend, your poor opinion ends up being about the messenger, Which for me definitely happened here. I must say, I did enjoy the book slightly. There were things about Melania I did not know and I found myself often consulting Google to corroborate or to find an outfit being discussed, so it was not totally horrible. Others have complained in their reviews about many pages dedicated to descriptions of outfits. I didn’t find that too bad. It was kind of interesting to me even though there were some underhanded insults directed at her motives and the price of the pieces. It did ramble on a bit and I did some skimming during that part. Once I got near the end, junior high was called to mind. Remember those times when you thought you had a really good paper but you just couldn’t come up with an ending that didn’t sound like you reached your allotted required pages and ran out of things to say? Well Kate Bennet was re-living her Junior high days. I wouldn’t waste my time reading this. Time is too short.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I really wanted to like this book. I love biographies and memoirs, especially anything about a First Lady or First Family living in the White House. I love those unique stories. I love the professional polish. This..... This read like a trashy celebrity gossip rag. Clearly the author LOATHES President Trump while practically WORSHIPPING former First Lady Michelle Obama. I'm pretty sure there was drool mixed with the ink. The author begins her narrative by criticizing Trumps team during the campa I really wanted to like this book. I love biographies and memoirs, especially anything about a First Lady or First Family living in the White House. I love those unique stories. I love the professional polish. This..... This read like a trashy celebrity gossip rag. Clearly the author LOATHES President Trump while practically WORSHIPPING former First Lady Michelle Obama. I'm pretty sure there was drool mixed with the ink. The author begins her narrative by criticizing Trumps team during the campaign for dropping the ball regarding Melania's RNC speech. You can almost hear her crowing as she ecstatically recounts the incompetence of Trumps people. Yeah, they screwed up but considering the writer herself is clearly lacking some professional polish in her own work, I think there was a lot of the pot calling the kettle black here. The use of profanity specifically by the author when stating her opinions was crude and obnoxious also. She ultimately judged the First Lady as a greedy snob despite the fact that there's no indication that the author ever actually had any direct face to face interactions with Melania. Everything she shares is someone else's words, someone else's interviews, someone else's opinion of someone else's interviews. Its all second hand and hear say. (Plagiarism?!?) Mrs. Trump never actually set down with the author and gave her any kind of all access interview. I felt like I was reading a heavily biased book report. I was very disappointed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Flewts

    I chose this book because I knew so little about Melania Trump. I even had to go look up Slovenia because I had never heard it, and I majored in European history in college! (It wasn't a country until 1991, long after my college years.) I love biographies as a way to understand people, their times, and hopefully an objective view of their lives. Objective? Not. It is painfully obvious that Kate Bennett loathes Donald Trump. Most of the book seems to be about how Melania could stand to be married t I chose this book because I knew so little about Melania Trump. I even had to go look up Slovenia because I had never heard it, and I majored in European history in college! (It wasn't a country until 1991, long after my college years.) I love biographies as a way to understand people, their times, and hopefully an objective view of their lives. Objective? Not. It is painfully obvious that Kate Bennett loathes Donald Trump. Most of the book seems to be about how Melania could stand to be married to him, couched in one way or another. I was more interested in reading about Melania herself, but most of this seems to be information I could have gotten from reading the newspapers. And since I had, most of this really wasn't new. It was helpful to learn that Slovenian women do not routinely smile. They smile when they have a good reason to, and not because people expect it all the time, which is quite an American characteristic. I was very disappointed in this book, and probably won't choose to read any other books by Kate Bennett. It used to be that reporters were objective, but maybe they never were and I'm looking back with rose-colored glasses. In any case, it's easy to understand why this is an unauthorized biography. Kate Bennett never had any personal connection.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Interesting perspective on Melania Trump, the private and elusive first lady who "doesn't care what others think about her" and "does what she wants, when she wants". Her background (escaping from communism) and many, many years later receiving American citizenship is noteworthy. Apparently her main interests are her family (parents, sister and Barron) and a few close friends. Pleased the author kept Barron out of the book, although the author lamb-blasted the relationships with the three older Interesting perspective on Melania Trump, the private and elusive first lady who "doesn't care what others think about her" and "does what she wants, when she wants". Her background (escaping from communism) and many, many years later receiving American citizenship is noteworthy. Apparently her main interests are her family (parents, sister and Barron) and a few close friends. Pleased the author kept Barron out of the book, although the author lamb-blasted the relationships with the three older stepchildren (rightfully so) and the obvious neglect of Tiffany by DJT (which Melania tried to remedy). Clearly he is not a Trump fan! Melania entered into a disfunctional family with her eyes wide open and knew how to handle the situation very well. She married a despicable man, but her chilling responses to his behaviors seem to work for their marriage. It isn't for most people, but this marriage seems like an agreement both parties are satisfied to continue. "Love" is not mentioned between them. She's far more intelligent than the public realizes and often gives Donald her opinions, which he values. The rest of this book is fluff and filled with her fashion choices.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leah Unger

    A very interesting and informative book. To understand our First Lady, one has to understand where she came from and how that has impacted her life as a person, a mistress, a wife of the President, a first lady, and a mother and step mother. I believe the author Kate Bennett has done an enormous amount of research before writing this book. I was intrigued and came away with a new perspective of the FLOTUS.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    Trust actions not words and never be fooled! As you may or may not know : Even fool's gold shines! Or in other words, “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”- is not something you should wear when trying to make a statement on being 'best'. Truth be told if you've not read my profile in its entirety please do and come back and we'll chat. Ok, for starters I have experience in dealing with toxicity concerning those on the DSM manual dealing and personality trait disordered individuals. While I wish we can all t Trust actions not words and never be fooled! As you may or may not know : Even fool's gold shines! Or in other words, “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”- is not something you should wear when trying to make a statement on being 'best'. Truth be told if you've not read my profile in its entirety please do and come back and we'll chat. Ok, for starters I have experience in dealing with toxicity concerning those on the DSM manual dealing and personality trait disordered individuals. While I wish we can all turn the other cheek it's hard not to offer insight into the reality that others may choose to continue to ignore or be in plain denial. For starters it's hell in layman terms being married to a malignant narcissist (in general terms) however, I cannot diagnose based on Goldwater Rule so I'll write generically speaking in my following notes. Now with this said, there's no love in a marriage with a narc because they are selfishly into themselves and couldn't care about family or the supportive union that binds. In fact these toxic individuals marry often for nothing more than personal gains, benefits, and a source of supply. Your loyalty must be on top. Your silent voice must be portrayed. Your lack of communication is apparent. Please do not stay silent in these types of relationships. Find a supportive system, seek pro help, and get help in getting out quickly and safely. I'm sorry but I don't buy the kool aid being sold here as it appears kosher and cordial but I deal with facts and truths not cherry coatings to sell novelties. When the first lady disappeared, it was noted she was having surgery, and that she told DT not to appear for whatever reason. Generically speaking narcs don't care about their spouses or significant others. She's not just a kept woman she's a business partner from all appearances and in general terms this is usually the case. The writing is on the wall: The lack of love, affection, empathy is nothing more than a relationship of convenience on his time. It's a basic: two ships sailing in the night w/o sharing much of anything together other than kids. Love can be shown in a variety of ways including holding hands, walking together not apart or behind, inclusion not exclusion, and acknowledge not isolate. My narc also slept in another room, never spoke direct but used email or two second calls, and rarely concerned himself with anything other than himself and his own needs. While I agree she is beautiful it's the sad fact she's not being appreciated for her full value that she brings and her intellect or character which should supercede her own beauty. The fight or flight reality is common and the constant looking over the shoulder is exhausting. Walking on eggshells while being gaslighted, brainwashed, manipulated is all the norm. Projection, mirroring, devaluing, discarding is sure to follow.... Narcissism is not just about vanity and ego's it's a personality trait disorder that's dangerous and can be deadly. I wish those who chose to talk about such relationships had more knowledge of the danger these relationships can warrant and how it's not something to simply write off or get over. The danger lives on long after the boundaries and borders are in place and the threats, intimidation, blackmail, smear campaigns are all part of the reality while hoovering takes hold. Folks, I wish I can tell you it's simply just noticeable behaviors: holding hands, slaps on wrists, or simple behavior issues but this is so much more and a great disservice is being performed when you have authors who aren't aware of the warnings signs of abuse. Sadly, we now live in a world in which almost every action is written off as the new norm. It will never be acceptable to those who survived such abuse and yes, the warning signs are evident. I do hope others reading this type of biography are aware that's more than a man simply being 'stuffy' ,'ignorant', or 'obnoxious.' Nobody is above the law and sadly the kids in the end pay the highest price for a man absent using family as extensions of self to be molded and coddled for his benefit. The 'public persona' is enhanced using 'Publicity stunts'. The lack of accountability, responsibility, and remorse go hand in hand with 'work' as the failure of the man or woman. I'm sorry our country is now under the spell but I do hope they too can one day see through the fog, smoke, mirrors and realize the Jekyll and Hyde is more than just a persona. The person behind the false persona which is well hidden behind the mask is dangerous so please proceed with caution. The trail of destruction, the unsuccessful relationships, the past financial issues, it's all just the tip of the iceberg as much more is hidden below.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    A relatively unbiased biography. Very respectful towards the First Lady. Well written. Easy read. I enjoyed it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marklutherlawoffice

    Boring-she wears 4.5 inch heels, Michael Kors clothes, hats, -did she strike it rich-good mother and not a pushover

  25. 5 out of 5

    English

    I liked this. First and foremost, Trump is a secondary character. It is truly about Melania. Bennett has a pretty awesome job, exclusively covering FLOTUS for CNN. This job has given her not only an inside look at Melainia’s character but also irreplaceable connections to people who “know things”. Bennett is clear when she’s speculating and when she’s pretty confident something is true. It’s also fairly unbiased. She’s quick to come to Melania’s defense if the media/pop culture chatter got somet I liked this. First and foremost, Trump is a secondary character. It is truly about Melania. Bennett has a pretty awesome job, exclusively covering FLOTUS for CNN. This job has given her not only an inside look at Melainia’s character but also irreplaceable connections to people who “know things”. Bennett is clear when she’s speculating and when she’s pretty confident something is true. It’s also fairly unbiased. She’s quick to come to Melania’s defense if the media/pop culture chatter got something wrong but doesn’t apologize if Melania does something inappropriate, off the mark, etc. Bennett also weaves in interesting tidbits about the inner workings of the White House, the East Wing, and the historical role of FLOTUS. There are a lot of good trivia nuggets in there that are not specific to Melania Trump. This book only helped to bolster my interest in Melania. She is complicated, calculated, and real. I look forward to following Kate Bennett more on the FLOTUS beat.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Budd Margolis

    Kate Bennett's best line: And with each swat, poke, nudge, and pout, she becomes more and more a memorable and independent first lady. But this falls short in depth except when fashion and its vital importance to the Nation are discussed. In fact, Kate should skip the White House assignment and head into the world of fashionistas. Some detail about previous first lady impact on fashion and trends, she buys from Net-a-Porter and was a QVC designer and supplier, has several fav designers but also b Kate Bennett's best line: And with each swat, poke, nudge, and pout, she becomes more and more a memorable and independent first lady. But this falls short in depth except when fashion and its vital importance to the Nation are discussed. In fact, Kate should skip the White House assignment and head into the world of fashionistas. Some detail about previous first lady impact on fashion and trends, she buys from Net-a-Porter and was a QVC designer and supplier, has several fav designers but also buys off the rack and pays retail and some designers and the fashion press who avoid being associated. But Melania is a strong independent woman who apparently is not as bothered as most people would be. Although all the conspiracy theories are listed, little proof or insight is provided to dispell them, The main take away is that Melania is an independent woman and has Slovenian behavioural attributes meaning she does not smile when she does not feel like it. She has a high couture fashion-centric style, elegant taste and what she wears expresses her emotional state. You do get some insight as to the inner workings of the FLOTUS and her life but much is guarded and concealed and this book does not reveal much that is not known generally. In many instances, it appears as if Melania's actions, or in most cases inaction, are justified by this author. The relationship between Melania and Ivanka is given a forensic analysis and her devotion to Baron is obvious and commendable. An effort has been made to dispell or refute other insider authors insight into her life and relationships. Melania does have a charitable capacity and is great with children. She did make it clear she was not happy with the child separation policy of her husband. It is up to the reader to decide if this is convincing or contrived. What could have been glamourous and interesting turned into a dry and dull life. I pity Melania and her shallow rather drab uber-wealthy lifestyle. The White House has often been described as a luxurious prison and one day Melania will be free but she will probably remain with Trump as they have a relationship built on survival and endurance. They can weather the storms most of which are their own creation. But I do not feel as if this is a unique contribution to the subject of what life in the White House is really like. That is why my ratings reached just 2 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Francine

    Free, Melania by Kate Bennet – 5 STARS, a totally enjoyable read and interesting look into the woman, Melania Trump. Melania was born in Slovenia, the former Yugoslavia, during the Soviet era. I remember those days well. Everything was GRAY and depressing, in Moscow, never mind Slovenia. Melania’s mom was a pattern maker in a children’s clothing factory. And she enjoyed making clothes for little Melania and her older sister, Ines. Melania discovered from a young age, that a little flower, pretty Free, Melania by Kate Bennet – 5 STARS, a totally enjoyable read and interesting look into the woman, Melania Trump. Melania was born in Slovenia, the former Yugoslavia, during the Soviet era. I remember those days well. Everything was GRAY and depressing, in Moscow, never mind Slovenia. Melania’s mom was a pattern maker in a children’s clothing factory. And she enjoyed making clothes for little Melania and her older sister, Ines. Melania discovered from a young age, that a little flower, pretty buttons, a ribbon, could turn ordinary into beautiful. She was discovered on the streets of Slovenia at age 16 by a Slovenian model agent, signed up, and the rest is history. She came to the US at age 25, a little old for a model. But she had work and friends and a new life in the US. I’ve read a lot about Melania. There wasn’t a lot new in this book. But it did paint a sympathetic picture of FLOTUS. I got the impression that you couldn’t call Melania ambitious, although she’s arrived at what might be called the pinnacle of ambition. It’s said she likes, and liked in her pre-famous days, to do nothing more that watch TV in her robe. I wonder what Melania would be doing if she hadn’t met Donald Trump at a party and the rest is history. Melania Trump is very much loved by those who work with her and for her. She is considered loyal and kind. Don’t mess with Melania Trump or the people she cares for. You will be SORRY. The book speaks of many instances which shows her husband as needy, of her company, her wise advice, her beautiful presence on her arm. Melania loves clothes. And she’s got the money for all she wants. Unfortunately many style houses will not work with Melania. They receive too much backlash from clients. She loves her son, her homes, to entertain, create beautiful parties, and watch TV in her robe. Her parents and sister are here in the US with her, living in Trump properties.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peacejanz

    Bennett is a professional reporter who was assigned to cover Melania Trump for years and I, foolishly, expected objective reporting. This is a love letter to Melania - poor lady, no one helped her on the convention speech, but she did not want help because she is so smart and can do it herself. No one checked it because she, like her husband, is strong and knows everything. She INADVERTLY used some words from another speech. And she felt awful about it afterward. [reviewer note: NEVER A WORD OF Bennett is a professional reporter who was assigned to cover Melania Trump for years and I, foolishly, expected objective reporting. This is a love letter to Melania - poor lady, no one helped her on the convention speech, but she did not want help because she is so smart and can do it herself. No one checked it because she, like her husband, is strong and knows everything. She INADVERTLY used some words from another speech. And she felt awful about it afterward. [reviewer note: NEVER A WORD OF APOLOGY - JUST SHE FELT AWFUL.] And all you foolish people who thought the message painted on the back of her jacket when she went to see refugee children in cages at the border, placed there by her husband's directions, was just meaningless jabber or was directed at the press (as her press secretary suggested) - I, for one, took it very personally because I care how my country welcomes or savages children (and all people). But Melania wrote the message about not caring as an insult to her step-daughter. You know the one her husband says he would like to date if she were not his daughter. This book was not as expected but I kept reading because I absolutely could not believe that a reporter would be so oblivious. For you who do not know, Melania is smart, worked hard to EARN her citizenship, has worked hard as first lady, is the only one who can persuade her husband. Gee, the things I never knew like the fact she wears shoes with four and a half inch heels when she appears with the Vice President's wife, who happens to be short. Melania does this deliberately. Melania also makes Mrs. Pence ride in the back of the plane with the help and the reporters and stays alone in the front cabin. Wow - what a first lady.

  29. 5 out of 5

    LeighAnn

    I learned that Melania is an independent person!! Meh 2.5 There wasn’t much substance since it’s an unauthorized biography. She doesn’t seem to care about US Citizens to want to share anything, even minute bits, about her life with fans or people interested in “getting to know” the FLOTUS. She appears to be loyal and expects people to be loyal back. She treats her staff well. She cares deeply about her immediate family. She doesn’t really care about trump’s bad behavior or much of anything else. I I learned that Melania is an independent person!! Meh 2.5 There wasn’t much substance since it’s an unauthorized biography. She doesn’t seem to care about US Citizens to want to share anything, even minute bits, about her life with fans or people interested in “getting to know” the FLOTUS. She appears to be loyal and expects people to be loyal back. She treats her staff well. She cares deeply about her immediate family. She doesn’t really care about trump’s bad behavior or much of anything else. It seems she just wants to live a tight knit family life in luxury. I hope she gets it some day.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This was a fascinating look at Melania Trump, our first lady. No matter what anyone thinks of her, and it is obvious after reading this book that she does not care, she is unique and generally does her own thing. Because of this independence, this quite often leads to even more criticism as she takes positions on matters that are often questionable. However, it was interesting to learn how a child born in a communist nation became a nude model and then first lady of the United States. The author This was a fascinating look at Melania Trump, our first lady. No matter what anyone thinks of her, and it is obvious after reading this book that she does not care, she is unique and generally does her own thing. Because of this independence, this quite often leads to even more criticism as she takes positions on matters that are often questionable. However, it was interesting to learn how a child born in a communist nation became a nude model and then first lady of the United States. The author did a great job in presenting both the positive and negative aspects of this very private character.

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