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
3.5 A fly on the wall, that is how I felt reading this novel. Told from the viewpoint of Hick, we are privvy to intimate glimpses of her relationship with Eleanor, as well as glimpses into the secrets of those living in the White House. Roosevelt and his harem, as Hick calls them, the way his polio was hidden, and the relationship he and Eleanor had with their children.
The book opens a short time after Roosevelt's death, and circles back to this period often. This is very much Hicks story though ...more
4.5 strong written stars
Eleanor Roosevelt...what person does not know that name? Wife of the longest serving president, humanitarian, mother to six children and wife to a philanderer of a husband. Speaking out as first lady, she became a woman working for the good of the poor, the downtrodden. She spoke out against racial discrimination. She was a paragon of virtue, intelligence, often using mass media to publicize the plight of many. She was also, as stated by this book and through her various ...more
This book details the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and “first friend” Lenora Hickok. The book is written from Hick’s point of view. It’s not told in a linear fashion, but more as a series of memories.
When Hick focuses on her opinion about others, I loved it. The comments about Lindbergh, Wallis Simpson and even the Roosevelt children are priceless. In these paragraphs, her ability as a newspaperwoman comes shining through. She captured Eleanor’s character to the point you felt you cou ...more
This book is a work of fiction based on the relationship of Eleanor Roosevelt and her long time friend and companion, Lorena Hickock. Lorena’s voice narrates this story.
They both seemed to be lost souls that found together, what they both never had in life, and it was written in a beautiful and intimate way.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the advanced copy!
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
This is a love story, one not like any romance I have ever read where my eyes roll at the sugary sweet dialog. Amy Bloom writes of love as if it's a part of the most beautiful birds, flowers, and sunsets found in nature. I found her descriptions just breathtaking.
This is a forbidden love between the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and a female journalist known as Hick. To read the author's take on their relationship, their intimate moments, you understand it fully even though Bloom took t ...more
Just started listening to the audio; the narrator is perfect!!!
This has to be Amy Bloom's best and most beautiful book yet. She left her heart on its pages, especially the heart of Lorena Hickok. Most of us know what an incredible woman Eleanor Roosevelt was as First Lady to FDR and later in her own right, stepped out from behind her husband's shadow. Eleanor was a tireless giver, to her family, her husband, her children, the people of this country, and even the world. She fought for the downtro ...more
I haven’t stopped thinking about this gem of a book, the powerful telling of an unconventional love story by author Amy Bloom. White Houses is historical fiction, based on research and letters exchanged between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok, a journalist who was invited to live in the White House in an adjoining bedroom to the first lady’s room during FDR’s presidency. A story of soulmates – two, independent, bright and powerful women in a lesbian relationship – a hidden secret to the worl ...more