White Houses

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

This is the first time I have read anything by Amy Bloom. As I read the beautifully written prose, I really thought it was going to be a page turner. The relationship between Hick and Eleanor. What I received instead was a let down. I did not care about the characters and try as I might, I could find no plot to engage me through the 241 pages. The continuity had me flipping back and forth to see what I had missed and if I had jumped time frames. People kept coming in and leaving with the main character describing them in harsh, critical tones and bringing up girlfriends from her past off and on throughout the story.

As much as I wanted to enjoy the book, I really could not. Most of...

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I thought this book was okay. "White Houses" is about the lesbian relationship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. It was told from the perspective if Lorena. I think I would have liked it better if it had been told from Eleanor's perspective instead. However, I did not have previous knowledge about their relationship and found this an interesting historical fiction book. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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Well researched, well written and absorbing. So much being written about Eleanor but this was the best I've read yet. Very good.
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Amy Bloom’s latest novel, White Houses, leads me to a topic that I’ve mentioned before. I think it is important, when writing fiction about real people, to keep their characters true to that of the original person. Historians disagree about whether Eleanor Roosevelt’s warm friendship with Lorena Hickok was a full-blown lesbian affair. Those who believe it was, base their supposition on Eleanor’s exuberant letters. Those who do not, base it on Eleanor’s dislike of being touched. I think that’s significant, and I think people these days misinterpret the tone of letters from earlier times, when friends expressed themselves more affectionately than we do.

Amy Bloom has chosen to believe that...

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This is a very well written book about the relationship between Lorena Hickok (Hick) and Eleanor Roosevelt that started out as professional as she reported on Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt but turned into an intimate and lasting friendship between her and Eleanor.  It is written from Hick's point of view which was also interesting to read.
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I'm a history buff, so this book worked well for me. This novel looks into the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok, a member of the White House press corps. Their relationship went through many ups and downs - Roosevelt was the President's wife so this would be a scandal, and of course there was the social stigma that was attached to homosexuality at the time. So it is a compelling read from a historical aspect. The writing is also pretty good - it kept me hooked till the end.
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American journalist Lorena Hickok (Hick) is covering Franklin Roosevelt’s Presidential campaign when she meets Eleanor Roosevelt, and the two are attracted to one another, first as friends, then as lovers. Told through Hick’s voice, this novel covers her life both before and after her White House years, focusing on her time living in the White House and the not-quite-ready-for-publication details of FDR’s mistresses, White House back stories, and the not-so-subtle blackmail efforts of Eleanor’s cousin Parker Fiske. The historical aspects of stories Hick covered, like the Lindbergh kidnapping, helps to firmly cement the story in time.

Being a fan of historical fiction, I found this book...

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Horrifyingly bad. I could barely skim my way through this drivel. There is so much of a story clearly lurking behind every moment of Eleanor Roosevelt's love life, but this book is a total waste of energy with not a sliver of a pulse. Really bad. Horrible. Ugh
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This historical fiction novel explores a side of one of our First Ladies that isn't often covered in history books. It is character-driven and the non-linear timeline makes for an interesting read.
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While this is a fictional account based on two real people, it does make me want to learn more about the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok..  The writing style was fluid and kept my interest.  How does a First Lady keep privacy (or maybe she does not care) in a very public position in an era where homosexuality is looked as an illegal act,  The loving and loyal relationship that Lorena has for Eleanor is beautifully written.
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Amy Bloom does a wonderful job with historical fiction and weaving a story that draws you in. This book is about Lorena Hickok’s life, but even more than that, it’s a tale of friendship, devotion, and love; love between Lorena and Eleanor Roosevelt. This is a work of fiction, based off of letters and other historical facts between Hickok and Roosevelt. This story was genuine and immersive. I was mesmerized by it and drawn into this world.
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I really have to think on this one, it was not the book I was expecting to read. I went into it expecting to learn about the relationship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok while in the White House and in the years following, I did not intend to learn about their intimate relationship and all of Hick’s silent thoughts of Mrs. Roosevelt. I did not expect six (6) pages of a letter from a Roosevelt cousin regarding his thoughts and relationship with another man, while married. I did not expect to read about Hick’s intimate escapades with other women. For that reason it turned me off on the book. Although I did feel Hick and Mrs. Roosevelt did have feelings for one another, which is...

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Thank you to netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book for a fair review.
r R
I recently read a very interesting biography of Missy LeHand so I was excited to read a fictionalized account of Eleanor Roosevelt's relationship with Lorena Hickok since the Roosevelts are fresh in my mind.

Surprisingly I found Lorena Hickok to be the more interesting character in this novel. Since the story is told from her point of view, I suppose this makes sense. I expected to learn more about Eleanor Roosevelt's personality but this book is really more about Lorena Hickok.

Ms. Hickok is fascinating. Born in an abusive household, she is put out on her own as an adolescent...

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I had high hopes for it, but just din't keep my interest long enough to finish it. I was looking for a story on Roosevelt and that wasn't it.
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The relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena "Hick" Hickock is one that goes beyond friendship. Eleanor and Hick first met when FDR was on the campaign trail. Hick is loud and brash, drinks whiskey and tells bawdy jokes. Her early days were rough, but that is what made her into the woman she is today. And she is utterly devoted to the love of her life, Eleanor Roosevelt. White Houses is set in the days following FDR's death when Eleanor is in need of comfort in the arms of a woman she loves. During those days Hick flashes back to the days when they first met. The days when her beat was on the campaign trail with the future First Lady. The flashbacks...

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If you're a queer woman you cannot go another day without reading this book.

What Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe did for budding, unsure, closeted lesbians in the 90s, White Houses does for the bold, unapologetic, aging queer women those girls have grown to be: Bloom gives a voice. Bloom represents.

The story woven ripped my guts out one slow-burning shred at a time. Throughout the entire novel, I felt myself imagining that perhaps Eleanor Roosevelt lived her whole life mistaking a tickle in her throat--"Pollen, maybe...a need for a cup of tea?"--for what was in fact a desperate need to fall to her knees and scream. That's what I wanted to do for both...

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So not what I was expecting. This was a fictionalized memoir of the (lesbian) relationship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. This story was told from the point of view of Lorena, or "Hick", and was more about her life than anything having to do with the Roosevelts. If you are looking for a story about the Roosevelts that furthers their image as American legends, this is not the book for you.
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"White Houses" by Amy Bloom is a beautiful, almost fairytale-ish, story of true and unapologetic love. The book is written from the perspective of Lorena Hickok, "Hick", who was covering Franklin Roosevelt's campaign in 1930s, during which she meets Eleanor, Roosevelt's wife. They quickly became very fond of each other and eventually fall in love.

The story features a beautiful language that seems almost poetic. Amy Bloom created the story that feels very authentic for the work of fiction that it is. An atmosphere of biography, which is present for most the entirety of the book, makes it easy to loose oneself in the story.

I really enjoyed this read, and I...

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Beautiful story told n the voice of Lorena Hickok known as “Hick” to her friends. It’s a coming of age story of growing up, of love and loss and observations during the 1930’s and 1940’s, pre and post Roosevelt. Lorena was a standout News reporter covering Franklin Roosevelt’s first run for President. She meets Eleanor and her life changes. Lorena started with less than nothing but educated herself and learned to fit in where needed.

This book is beautifully written. Amy Bloom has taken a work of fiction and made it real. The ups and downs of loving someone that is the center of the world for so many people because of position. The feelings of loving someone more than you love yourself.
...

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White Houses turned out to be not what I expected.  The writing was brilliant but the story was weak almost boring.  The beginning was very good and then it went downhill from there.  I felt that there really wasn’t any plot to this story and it never took off again.  I was disappointed because I had heard so much about this book.  I wish I could say I loved it but this book was very hard to finish.
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