Jenna And Barbara Bush Open Up About Their Wild And Wonderful Life & Upcoming Sisters First Tour

Former first daughters of First Lady Laura and President George W. Bush and #1 bestselling authors Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush have come together to share their perspective on growing up in the public eye. In their book, Sisters First, which was released last fall, the twin daughters reveal some intimate stories and offer reflections from the Texas countryside to the White House and beyond.

They are headed to Boston next month for their Sisters First Tour, where they will share never-before-told personal stories about their family, their adventures, their loves and losses, and the special sisterly bond that keeps them tied closely together. Jenna and Barbara Bush will be in Boston at The Wilbur on Monday, April 16.

Sisters FirstPhoto Credit: Grand Central Publishing

We caught up recently with both Jenna and Barbara to find out why they decided to share their story now, learn more about their upcoming tour and find out what some of their most cherished memories are.

Why did you decide now was the time to share your story?

Barbara: We both find storytelling so important and love hearing other people’s stories. We never thought we’d publicly share our story, but started talking about the importance of sisterhood with Mila (Jenna’s oldest daughter). We live four blocks away from each other in New York and would take lots of walks playing around with the idea of writing a book about our experiences and thought it was a fun idea. We reflected on having a partner to go through life and it was quite serendipitous that we were able to write a book about our personal essays.

How were you able to recall all of the details of the stories you shared?

Barbara: I think the funny thing about being a twin is that we are always the same age and have the same mentality. We spent a lot of time brainstorming with each other and would go on long walks piecing together our memory. We ended up piecing together lots of fun stories that ended up being an excavation of stories that we hadn’t thought about in a long time.

How did you decide which stories you wanted to share and did you worry that some might be too private to include?

Jenna: We knew when we wrote the book that we wanted it to be extremely personal and vulnerable. I think sharing any stories makes you feel vulnerable. It was just what mattered to us, being as authentic as can be.

What would you like people to take away after reading your book?

Jenna: We wrote with the understanding we are blessed to have each other, and sisterhood is an incredible thing.

Tell us about your most favorite memory in the White House.

Barbara: Our first experience was when our grandfather (former President George H.W. Bush) took office when we were just seven years old. When our dad became President, we were in college and would go back on holidays and summers. It was unique to go back having an adult focus on the White House instead of a childhood focus. All of the people who worked there when my grandfather was in office were still there when my father took office, so that made me feel very comfortable. My grandfather was inaugurated when we were seven years old and I remember a woman met us at the door (her name was Nancy and she was the florist) and asked if we wanted to make a basket of flowers for my grandparents’ bedside table. She ended up being the florist for Jenna’s wedding.

What was the most difficult challenge growing up in the public eye?

Jenna: I think the most difficult challenge for me was hearing your parents being criticized. We didn’t see him as a politician, he was just our dad.

Jenna, you are a correspondent on NBC’s Today Show and an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine. Was it difficult taking a job in the media after many were so critical of your father’s presidency?

Yes and no. Yes, because it was more of a surprise, but it was not difficult. It has been an honor to share people’s stories.

Tell us a little about the Sisters First Tour coming to Boston.

Barbara: Boston is so beautiful and lovely. I own an organization called Global Health Corps (an organization that mobilizes a global community of young leaders to build the movement for health equity) so I come to Boston a lot. We are so excited to come to Boston because this is our third time rescheduling our visit. We had planned to be in Boston twice before, but had to reschedule due to snow storms this winter. We are going to be there on Marathon Monday, so hopefully, the third time’s a charm.