An intimate look at the love that built the Biden family and the delicate balancing act of the woman at its center
"How did you get this number?" Those were the first words Jill Biden spoke to U.S. senator Joe Biden when he called her out of the blue to ask her on a date.
Growing up, Jill had wanted two things: a marriage like her parents'—strong, loving, and full of laughter—and a career. An early heartbreak had left her uncertain about love, until she met Joe. But as they grew closer, Jill faced difficult questions: How would politics shape her family and professional life? And was she ready to become a mother to Joe's two young sons?
She soon found herself falling in love with her three "boys," learning to balance life as a mother, wife, educator, and political spouse. Through the challenges of public scrutiny, complicated family dynamics, and personal losses, she grew alongside her family, and she extended the family circle at every turn: with her students, military families, friends and staff at the White House, and more.
This is the story of how Jill built a family—and a life—of her own. From the pranks she played to keep everyone laughing to the traditions she formed that would carry them through tragedy, hers is the spirited journey of a woman embracing many roles.
Where the Light Enters is a candid, heartwarming glimpse into the creation of a beloved American family, and the life of a woman at its center.
In this charming memoir, Biden shares an intimate story of her life with former vice president Joe Biden. Biden grew up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the 1950s, the eldest of five girls born to a bank teller and a homemaker. A rebellious teenager she smoked cigarettes and snuck out to swim at night Biden attended the University of Delaware and got married at age 18 but divorced a few years later. At 23, on her own and teaching English in Chadds Ford, Pa., she was surprised when dapper 31-year-old Sen. Joe Biden asked her on a date. Biden soon found herself engulfed in the "boisterous" Biden clan, a close-knit and fiercely loyal crew Joe had two sons with his first wife, who died in a car accident along with their baby daughter a few years earlier and she and Joe were married two years later. Biden describes the closeness of the family; for example, after the couple decided to have a child together, Joe's sons from his first marriage were the first to tell their dad of Biden's pregnancy. The book ends with a moving tribute to her son Beau, who died from brain cancer in 2015. This generous and inspiring portrait of the Biden family is sure to be widely welcomed and enjoyed. Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the year the author's son Beau died as well as the age of the author and her husband when they started dating.