Most people haven’t heard of the novelist Curtis Sittenfeld, whose previous work was a thinly disguised story about former First Lady Laura Bush, albeit with embellishments that included a secret abortion and a lesbian grandmother. Her next book, an Alternate History story about what would have happened had Hillary Rodham not married Bill Clinton, will likely put Sittenfeld on the map.

The Sittenfeld will not be the first alternate history Hillary story. “Hillary Orbits Venus” imagines what would have happened had she become an astronaut and married the physicist Richard Feynman rather that Bill Clinton.

In the history in which we live, Hillary married Bill in October 1975. She had already become radicalized thanks to the malign influence of Saul Alinsky. The Kathy Shelton affair, in which Hillary had destroyed the life of a 12-year-old rape victim to get her attacker off with time served, had already happened.

In a universe in which she rejected Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham might have stayed longer as a law professor at the University of Arkansas. Would she have used that position to further her own political ambitions without attaching herself to Clinton? One suspects that the book if it chooses to be hagiographical, will take that path. Maybe without Bill weighing her down with his ethical baggage, she becomes president eventually?

One can spin out all sorts of fantasy, hopefully with some aspect of realism.

The scenario will at least be more interesting that the myriad Hillary wins in 2016 scenarios that have been popping up ever since Donald Trump trounced her. But a more interesting idea would be, what if Hillary Rodham had not been radicalized? A little-known fact about her is that she started life as a Goldwater Republican, but turned hard left when she was at Wellesley in the late 60s.

A Republican Hillary, with her boundless ambition and her capacity for rage, would have had an interesting effect on history. She is no great shakes as a politician, as two aborted attempts to run for president prove. But she could have become a senator, with what effects on history one can but imagine.

On a personal note, if Hillary does not marry Bill, does she marry someone else?

And does that man treat her with more respect that the former president? Much of Hillary’s character has to have been informed by having to regularly swallow the kind of abuse and infidelity that would have resulted in divorce many times over. Perhaps the most significant change in a Hillary does not marry Bill scenario will not be on history but on the personal happiness of the main character of the upcoming book?