Title: I have Something to Tell You
Author: Chasten Buttigieg
Read by: Chasten Buttigieg
Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio
Length: Approximately 7 hours and 18 minutes
Source: Review Copy from Simon & Shuster Audio. Thank-you!
What is your favorite memoir? What type of memoirs do you like to read – political figures, Hollywood figures, etc.?
I love to read about the spouses of politicians. With June as Pride Month, I thought it was time to read about the spouse of the first gay man to run on the national stage for president. Chasten Buttigieg is Pete Buttigieg’s husband. I had heard a brief summary of their love story, but I didn’t really know much about Chasten Buttigieg himself. I love Pete Buttigieg. I loved him as a presidential candidate and I’m very impressed by his performance so far as the Secretary of Transportation. I’ve been reading articles about how he gets along with everyone on both sides of the aisle and really knows his infrastructure facts. As an engineer, infrastructure is something I love. I was happy to hear in this audiobook that he will talk about sewer management in detail. I am ready to go out to dinner with Peter and Chasten Buttigieg.
The world may know him as Mayor Pete, but to Chasten, he is his husband, Peter. In I Have Something to Tell You, Chasten writes a heartfelt memoir that was humorous at times, but also serious. Chasten wrote about his childhood growing up in conservative Northern Michigan and the difficulties of coming out as a gay man. He had a period of time where he contemplated suicide and he has experienced sexual assault. He went to college at a local community college and then in Wisconsin at UW-Eau Claire. He also went to college in Milwaukee as well. He had been unlucky in love, until he met Peter Buttigieg. Chasten was up front on their first date that he was looking for a serious relationship. This made me laugh out loud, as I think many of us have been there. As Chasten grew used to his role as First Gentleman of South Bend, he also found a fulfilling job as a teacher. Things were thrown into a loop when his husband decided to run for President.
Chasten wrote openly and honestly about life on the campaign trail as the spouse of a candidate. It seems that he dealt with things well, but I felt for him that he didn’t get to see Peter much. The book ended with them back in South Bend after the campaign was over. My only sadness is that it didn’t continue the story to their current life in Washington DC. I’ll be ready for his next memoir.
I feel like I’m not adequate here for how much I loved this memoir. Chasten seemed very down to earth and really told his story warts and all. One of my favorite parts of the book was when he was very stressed out about Peter finding out about his college and medical debt. Peter took it all in stride, got out a spreadsheet, and taught Chasten how to manage his finances. I loved that so much. They both seem like such good people. I really enjoyed learning about his work with middle school kids as a teacher and for the LGBTQIA+ community while on the campaign trail.
I related to Chasten as I also grew up in a rural conservative community in Michigan and now live in Wisconsin. I am not LGBTQIA+, but I am an ally. I felt like this book was very down to earth and as I said before, heartfelt on explaining the joys and difficulties of coming out as a gay man in America.
I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by the author Chasten Buttigieg. I always love when an audiobook is narrated by the actual author, especially a memoir. Chasten Buttigieg is a middle school drama teacher, and this fact made his narration so fun to listen to. Some authors are a bit dry but Chasten was always so interesting.
Overall, Chasten Buttigieg’s I Have Something to Tell You is a great memoir exploring the life of a political spouse that is genuine, warm and enjoyable.