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Women line up to praise Jenny Sanford, buy book

MOUNT PLEASANT - Sullivan's Island, where first lady Jenny Sanford and her four sons live, doesn't have a bookstore.

So on Friday, a steady stream of its female residents and those of nearby islands made their way to the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Mount Pleasant, about five miles from Sanford's home, to pick up a copy of the first lady's new memoir that hit bookstores Friday.

Janet Hall of Isle of Palms snatched up a copy, looking for further inspiration. She thinks Sanford has been an example of how to stand strong in the face of adversity.

"She is graceful and strong," she said. "I admire her so much. Many women do."

In the book, Jenny Sanford gives a detailed and insightful account of her life with Gov. Mark Sanford and the events that led the couple to split.

"Staying True" chronicles the ups and downs of balancing a political life in the spotlight with the family's private life. That private life spilled into the headlines last year when the governor admitted to a year-long affair with an Argentine woman.

"I see now that June 24, 2009, was a day that changed forever the trajectory of my life," writes the first lady in the book's prologue. "but it did not change me."

After several failed attempts at reconciliation, the first lady filed for divorce in December. The two are due in family court later this month.

"I was in a marriage very similar for 24 years," said Deedie Rose of Daniel Island as she thumbed through "Staying True" on Friday at Barnes & Noble.

"I don't think (Gov. Mark Sanford) knows what he lost and probably never will," Rose said. "I give her so much credit for being such a class act about this and standing firm in her beliefs," she added. "She's such a wonderful example to her sons, and they'll never ever forget that."

Larry Morey, manager of the store, couldn't say how well the books were selling. "All I can say is there's definitely been interest in it as expected."

The first lady will do three book signings this month with Barnes & Noble, Morey said, one at his store, a second in Illinois where Sanford is from and a third at the Forest Drive location Feb. 12.

Jenny Sanford is featured in People magazine, on newsstands now and will appear on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday, according to her publicist.

Susan Benton of Hanahan bought the book, in part, to learn more about reports that Gov. Sanford did not include the vow to be faithful in the couple's wedding ceremony.

Benton said she's long been sympathetic to the first lady's plight.

"Being in the limelight is hard in general. But she's done it with grace," Benton said. "And she didn't get up there and stand by him (during the press conference in which he revealed the affair.) I liked that."