For readers of The Paris Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue comes a "sensuous, captivating account of a forbidden affair between two women" (People)--Eleanor Roosevelt and "first friend" Lorena Hickok.Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt's first presidential campaign. Having grown up worse than poor in South Dakota and reinvented herself as the most prominent woman reporter in America, "Hick," as she's known to her friends and admirers, is not quite instantly charmed by the idealistic, patrician Eleanor. But then, as her connection with the future first lady deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into a lasting love, and a life that Hick never expected to have. She moves into the White House, where her status as "first friend" is an open secret, as are FDR's own lovers. After she takes a job in the Roosevelt administration, promoting and protecting both Roosevelts, she comes to know Franklin not only as a great president but as a complicated rival and an irresistible friend, capable of changing lives even after his death. Through it all, even as Hick's bond with Eleanor is tested by forces both extraordinary and common, and as she grows as a woman and a writer, she never loses sight of the love of her life.From Washington, D.C. to Hyde Park, from a little white house on Long Island to an apartment on Manhattan's Washington Square, Amy Bloom's new novel moves elegantly through fascinating places and times, written in compelling prose and with emotional depth, wit, and acuity.Praise for White Houses"Amy Bloom brings an untold slice of history so dazzlingly and devastatingly to life, it took my breath away."--Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife"Vivid and tender . . . Bloom--interweaving fact and fancy--lavishes attention on Hickok, bringing Hick, the novel's narrator and true subject, to radiant life."--O: The Oprah Magazine"Radiant . . . an indelible love story, one propelled not by unlined youth and beauty but by the kind of soul-mate connection even distance, age, and impossible circumstances couldn't dim . . . Bloom's goal is less to relitigate history than to portray the blandly sexless figurehead of First Lady as something the job rarely allows those women to be--a loving, breathing human being. And she does it brilliantly."--Entertainment Weekly...
|Number of Pages||:||320 pages|
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White Houses Reviews
This was a beautiful book in many ways. As a fictional biography of Lorena Hickok, it was superb, capturing her early life, her appearance, raspy voice, prickly personality; bringing to life a woman I had heard of because of her relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt, but never knew much about. It also brought to life what it must have been like to be in that White House inner circle during the Roosevelt administration, showing both Franklin and Eleanor as real people, warts and all. The behind the ...more
After you’ve read a number of books by an author, you may be able to pinpoint where they hit you. For me, Amy Bloom’s luscious writing lands in my mouth. Specifically, my taste buds. And my mouth waters as I read as if I’ve been served my fantasy feast and it’s just for me and I can eat it as slowly or as quickly as I please and make all the private pleasure sounds you don’t make in public because this experience is mine, mine, mine—intimate and private.
Her new book, like her previous novels Awa ...more
I said that the Potsdam diner was a delight. She said that after the funeral there was corned beef and cabbage and homemade beer. She said the service was Irish Catholic and heartfelt. I hung up my coat and made a show of taking out my notebook and doing my job, and asking about her husband's ambitions.
Lordy lord, if you can manage to read such flat, 'told', random prose then you're more tolerant than I am. I'm really intrigued by this relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and 'Hick', a lesbi ...more
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“In many dreams I've held you near,
Now, at last, you're really here.
“Where have you been?
I've looked for you forever and a day
Where have you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away”
-- Where Have You Been lyrics by Kathy Mattea
When Franklin D. Roosevelt was campaigning to become the 32nd President, Lorena Hickok was one of many reporters covering his campaign. Through this, she meets, and is befriended by Eleanor Roosevelt, despite their vast differences, economically an ...more
I forgot, folks, I forgot!
I forgot I don’t like historical fiction that’s based on famous people. Why was my memory snoozing when I picked up this book? I remember (of course, too late) that I swore off reading such books after I finished Twain's End and suddenly thought Mark Twain was a jerk. I used to like Mark Twain, but after reading that book, where it shows how he ruined his mistress’s life, I hate his guts. I even researched the facts a little, and yep, it appears he really was a basta ...more
5 starting-my-new-year-in-reading-with-an-absolute-BANG 🎉 💥 🎇 stars to White Houses 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
My grandmother had a saying that what you were doing when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve is what you will be doing all year long. I always thought it was some kind of scare tactic. 😂 I shared that with some of my book friends, and they were told a similar saying, but instead it’s what you do on New Year’s Day. I’ll take that and run with it because I was reading this book on that day, and ...more
White Houses Is the story of the romance between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. Both women in their own way had very sad lives. Eleanor because she lived in the shadow of FDR and Hickok because of her brutal early life.
While the romance was scandalous it was by no means extraordinary. Bloom characterizations of Eleanor and Lorena are lovely, they were devoted to each other.
Amy Bloom is a wonderful writer, she has written a thought-provoking book about two lost souls that find a bit of hap ...more
Fifty-five years after her death, and more than 70 years after she left the White House following her husband's death, Eleanor Roosevelt remains one of the most intriguing women in history. She certainly was a role model for trailblazing women not interested in being confined to the boxes in which society wants to contain them, but rather working to bring about change wherever it is needed.
While much is known about her public persona, her personal life has always remained more of an enigma. Mor ...more