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Summary

What is it like to be a wife of a politician in modern-day Britain? Sasha Swire finally lifts the lid. For more than two decades she has kept a secret diary detailing the trials and tribulations of being a political plus-one; the travel, the security, the challenges to family life and the unpredictable events. A professional partner as well as a life partner and one with strong political opinions herself, she detonates the image of the dutiful stereotype.  

Swire gives us a ringside seat through the great political events of the decade, from the election of David Cameron and the forming of a coalition, three general elections, to the referendum and the turmoil of Brexit. She speaks candidly about the key players, at work and in repose. She sheds light on the 'snake and ladder' nature of political careers, on the scandals, on the friendships and the fallouts, the juggling of office and home life, the media scrutiny and the handling of political opponents. It is a searingly honest, wildly indiscreet and often humorous account of what life is like inside the Westminster hot house.

©2020 Sasha Swire (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about Diary of an MP's wife

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Dreadful narration

Really wanted to listen to this book which presumed was read by the author. Instead this woman with a dreadfully nasal voice which cannot, I suggest in any way reflect the author’s background and upbringing.

7 people found this helpful

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Really fun!

This booked was billed in the newspapers as outrageous and jaw dropping. Some of it was. There is a lot of gossip. Most of it was genuinely interesting and a good political history of the 2010s. Well done Sasha and happy retirement Hugo. Excellently fun!

4 people found this helpful

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What’a all the fuss about?

Wha absolutely. Makes this book come to life is the utterly brilliant reading. It’s an emotionally honest account, from a more than competent writer of an important time in our lives, which, unfortunately runs the risk of getting buried under the turn of subsequent events rather too quickly. Not my politics or my class, but a well observed and good-humoured narrative with enough diversion from into matters of lasting value to lift it out of mere journalism.

4 people found this helpful

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Great book, terrible narrator

Enjoyment of a very entertaining gossipy book ruined by a terrible narrator. Voice v irritating and pronunciation poor. For example lieutenant would not be mispronounced by a former officer’s wife. I gave up and bought the book which I recommend whatever your politics.

3 people found this helpful

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Terrific Book

Very entertaining listen. I was alerted to this book by a poisonous review in The Times by a bitter hack....consequently had to listen for myself. Despite other reviews I felt it was a thoughtful and nuanced book, the humbug and bile made it more credible. This is a diary, so of course views will not be censored and by definition will be gossipy, that is delight of this genre. I had no problems with the narrator, 'estuary english' would not have suited this title......did they really want Janet Street Porter narrating! Mrs Swire sounds fun to me.....ignore the class ridden reviews. Lets have the 99-09 diary!

2 people found this helpful

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Terrible narrator ruins a good book

I have no idea where Audible found this narrator but she ruins what is otherwise a really entertaining book. I was expecting a voice which at least sounded like Sasha Swire’s might be. Instead the narrator sounds like Beverly in Abigail’s party - with gin-soaked, nasal vowels projected through a set of lisping false teeth. Words and names are garbled and mispronounced (eg has she never heard the word Slav before - ie a person of Slavic origin?!) and there are weird pauses mid sentence where she clearly has to draw breath. Maybe the publisher’s didn’t expect the success of this book but it deserves a much better, or at least competent, narrator. Buy the book and don’t waste your money on the audio version!

2 people found this helpful

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Sarcastic and irritated MP's wife spills the beans

Sasha Swire is the wife of former junior minister and former auctioneer Hugo Swire (it's OK, I had not heard of him either). Mrs Swire has kept a diary of her husband's time in office detailing every boring constituency lunch, every dull party fund raising dinner and every tedious social interaction with ministers and senior party officials. Excerpts of this book have been serialised in The Times and it has already been widely reported that Mrs Swire does not pull her punches. Indeed, listening to this, you would have thought that it has been written by a political opponent rather than a Conservative Party supporter. The book covers the period from 2010 to 2019 and incorporates a character assassination of senior ministers including "Boy George" Osbourne, Theresa "Maybot" May, Dominic "Raab C Nesbitt" and Boris Johnson who is described as "chaotic" and "untrustworthy". Most of the cabinet are described by the author as "arrogant posh boys" and "swivel heads" and the general tone throughout is of a person who is narky and sarcastic and frustrated with her husband's lack of political achievement. The only person who comes out of this tirade favourably is David Cameron ("DC was brilliant in parliament today") who Mrs Swire openly flirted with. I do not suppose that Mrs Swire will gain many friends as a result of this book but it does demonstrate just how dysfunctional and nasty the Conservative Party can be.

2 people found this helpful

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A Sad Testament

The performance of the narrator was excellent and very enjoyable listening. Sasha Swire lift the lid on the real personalities of those in politics including the her own hypocrisy. It won’t come as a surprise to many listening of the self-interest, personal promotion and croniesism of the people we elect and their spouses. The spilling of the beans smells of someone who holds a lasting grudge at the establishment for her husbands failure to achieve a post he desired. Swire, while willing to disclose intimate details of other people’s lives whiteout regards to the pain it would cause never hinted at the alleged adultery of her own husband. This is where she loses any respect that her diary was an honest insight into the self serving club. The betrayal of her so called friends is indicative of someone out to make a quick buck at others expense foregoing the principle of true friendship. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the audiobook as one enjoys listening to someone giving evidence in a civil case in order to seek revenge for past self perceived insult and harbouring deep seated grievance of someone who thinks of herself as high and mighty but in reality comes across as no more than a snob, two faced and a traitor to what we’re at one time her friends. Human nature at its worse.

1 person found this helpful

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Reader has a voice like a Kenneth Williams

I’m sure the book is quite interesting if you didn’t have to put up with the narrator’s voice, she is really overwrought and has a nasal twang that reminds me of Kenneth Williams. It’s as if the publisher wants to get the money from the book but doesn’t really like Sacha Swire so they’re getting her back by giving her a voice that is far too shrill. God help Britain if these types of Tory people are running it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr
  • 25-11-20

Great narration and great book

The performance is excellent, Leo Merton really brings it to life. As for the diary, it’s sharp, witty, charming, reflective and provides a fascinating insight into Westminster for the 2010-2019 period. I particularly enjoyed the occasional rumination on nature, aside from the ‘gossip’, the author has a real talent for writing. I would recommend this (and indeed have) to anyone/everyone - excellent book.