Being the wife of a Canadian prime minister offers both rewards and challenges. In Prime Ministers’ Wives, author Lavona Fercho presents a look at the wives and their lives as public figures.
Beginning with Isabella Clark Macdonald and ending with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, this collection of thirteen biographical sketches reveals how the role of the wife of Canadian prime ministers has developed throughout the years. Fercho depicts how each wife coped with the battles and intrusions they faced at the prime minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive. She shares how some wives adopted a minimal public lifestyle, while the more gregarious accepted roles, of charitable chair positions, press conferences, as well as campaigns to promote their husband.
Frank and revealing, Prime Ministers’ Wives tells how each wife handled the extreme pressures of the position. Whether personal or public, reported experiences were of marital challenges including infidelity, parentage, alcoholism and mental illness as well as public verbal and physical assault, death threats, and unrelenting scrutiny while promoting a societal recognition of women for equal status.