Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Melania and Me is a great read!
What I Expected
I bought this book because I thought it would be light reading and a break from the much heavier reading I had been doing all semester. I like to reward myself by reading choice material from a large, growing stack of books I just can’t allow myself to get distracted with in the middle of busy classes. This book was surprising. It kept my attention much more than I expected. While I wouldn’t exactly call it a “page turner” I did read it pretty quickly in anticipation of what it might reveal. It also was not as light as I expected. I assumed it would be a little fun, a little gossipy, and give information on a former first lady that I didn’t know anything about. It was much more serious, more detailed, and more scandalous.
What I Actually Found
The friendship Stephanie Winston Wolkoff describes, and the pictures that showcase it, goes sour in a mix of bad politics, money, and blame. I can’t help but wonder after reading this book if any of the material or people mentioned will play a role in the latest investigation of Donald Trump. We, of course, aren’t talking about a few dollars here. Try $107 million. I’ll spare you the gory explanations in case you read it. Wolkoff says that she wishes she had never even met Melania after the terrible way their friendship failed (311). Melania is ultimately portrayed as selfish, rude, and ridiculous. She is quoted as saying that her and Donald couldn’t speak out to say the truth and defend Stephanie because lawyers made them say certain things. If true, I found this interesting since Donald presents himself as saying whatever he wants whenever he wants.
A Grain of Salt
Other interesting tidbits from this book included the contradiction and inside jokes about Melania wanting to tell kids not to bully online while her husband was doing just that, daily. And sadly, Wolkoff describes Melania’s silence and “boys will be boys” attitude after reports surfaced that Trump had slept with two other women while Melania was recovering from childbirth (315-316).
As I read, I wondered how many people have tried to discredit this book. It is a question I honestly have not attempted to research. I told myself over and over to “read with a grain of salt.” I wanted to keep my mind open and not place judgement in case the author was spinning her own web. Regardless of your political affiliation, Wolkoff lays it all bare. The details are so specific and so numerous that it is difficult to imagine she wrote falsehoods. She is clear about what she saw happen and what the press actually presented. She is also clear about conversations of hers that the FBI has in possession.
The friendship this book chronicles over 300 pages lasted more than fourteen years. There is a sadness the book leaves you with. It’s sad because of the friendship that crashed and burned and the heaviness of the Trump power on our country when the Trumps are described as having a “lack of character” and “lack of common decency” by someone who knew them so well (334).
Purchase your copy here and decide for yourself: