White Houses

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing House for providing me with an ARC of White Houses by Amy Bloom in exchange for my unbiased review.

I’m often skeptical when reading fictionalized accounts of real people because it’s hard to distinguish what is true and what the author imagined. Amy Bloom certainly brought an authentic voice to Lorena Hickok the “First Friend” and believed lover of First Lady,Eleanor Roosevelt. The story is told through the eyes of “Hick” an impoverished news woman, who fought her way up from rural South Dakota to become a White House aide for Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt. Beginning in 1932, until Eleanor’s death in 1962 White Houses captures the key...

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Whites Houses  is. a novel based on history and chronology and the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.  Amy Bloom has graciously combined history, during  Franklin Roosevelt's  in office and a secret love affair between Elenor and Lorena Hickok, a reporter during Roosevelt's campaign and time in the White House.  It. Is entertaining and at times poignant.
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This was a relatively short book with quite a lot of meat. The format is pretty interesting. Lorena Hickok ("Hick") was Eleanor Roosevelt's longtime companion and possibly lover. A majority of the novel's frame is a day in April 1945 shortly after FDR's death when Eleanor and Hick have met up in a shared apartment. In a first person account, Hick muses about her relationship with Eleanor, remembering different periods of their relationship as well as the formative events of her childhood and young adulthood. It is far from linear, as the flashbacks aren't told in chronological order, so putting together Hick's life and person is rather like assembling a...

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I wanted to like this book.  I generally love historical fiction, especially of this era, but after about the first third of the book I felt let down.  The subjects are interesting, but the author chose to focus on their feelings for one another and she lost me.  The writing is well done, however.

Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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From the first chapter I knew I wouldn’t like this book :(
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Thank you Netgalley for an advanced copy for my honest review. I would give this a 3.5 Stars based on content. And 4 stars because the writing is good, and I read it in a day. The story of Eleanor’s intimate relationship with her “First Friend” caught me by surprise. I never knew that Eleanor and her husband both had open relationships.  I really knew little about their relationship except for the little I learned in history class. Wow!  I’ve never read a book that shared so much intimacy between two women. It pushed me out of my usual genre, and that’s always a positive thing.  I would recommend this to folks who enjoy history and would want to know more about Eleanor’s private life.
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I am head-over-heels in love with Lorena Hickok and her tale. The character and detail Lorena gives the story adds verisimilitude to the novel; I had to constantly remind myself that I was reading a work of fiction. While her childhood story was often graphic and sad, Lorena is a strong character that pushes through life, ultimately, the good and the bad, lead her to the White House. The story doesn’t stop there.

She is a well written, highly developed, and perfectly seasoned character that had me always wanting to see more through her eyes. I’d read this novel again and again because she is that enjoyable, her tale is that entertaining.

If this novel hadn’t been an ARC, I’d have a...

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"White Houses" tells the story of Eleanor Roosevelt's lesbian long-time partner. I was never aware of this and found the historical telling of homosexuality very interesting. The book is well written and not graphic!
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Initially, I was very excited to read a book that is compared to novels that I loved. This book, centered around Eleanor Roosevelt & Lorena Hickson's love affair, was plodding. It wasn't a glimpse into their lives, or into the White House, or into anything really. It was a slow slog of a forgettable relationship. I would have very much liked if there were any sort of flow, instead of the meandering through the minutiae.
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Once again,  Amy Bloom spins a love story that absolutely transports the reader.  From the Depression-era Midwest to FDR’s White House and all points in between, Bloom creates the world of Lorena Hickok, a trailblazing journalist and Eleanor Roosevelt’s lover.  Combining the historical with the romantic, Bloom gives Hicock a voice and heart unknown to most and deftly explores the hidden loves (and heartbreaks) of this forgotten American journalist and Roosevelt.
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Lovely story of a romance between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickock - the prose is lovely and the book made me want to learn more about the actual people and their relationship. Both characters felt alive and complete. Fans of Amy Bloom won't be disappointed, and fans of historical fiction will enjoy this as well.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I found this to be a well written historical fiction that made for a thoughtful read as it looks back into the relationship between Eleanor Franklin and journalist Lorena ”Hick” Hickock. It’s not my usual genre but I enjoyed a great deal the way it was handled. It’s told in the voice of Hickock, who worked for the Associated Press covering Roosevelt’s run for the White House when she met Eleanor. Over time they became very close. By the time the election was won, Hick knew she had to quit her job to protect both of the Roosevelts. Eleanor invited her to move into the White House and in time she went to work for Franklin.  She tells how they managed a love against the odds.

I never realized...

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What if being Eleanor Roosevelt's lover were not the most interesting thing about your life? I'm amazed that it's taken so long to give a fictional voice to Lorena Hickock, the extraordinary woman who loved Eleanor and was loved by her, and whose life was jam-packed with adventure. If I have any criticism of "White Houses" it's that it doesn't spend enough time on Hick's amazing achievements besides loving and supporting one of the most inspiring people in US history.

Hick's start was rough, born on a farm in the middle of nowhere, dead mother, brutal father. Barely educated, sent off to be a servant, plain, blocky Hick makes her own future...

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Eleanor Roosevelt had an affair with a woman, who Knew? Apparently, it’s not so common, common knowledge. In 'White Houses', Amy Bloom tells a fictional story about the real-life romance between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. 'White Houses' fascinated me, but not it the way you might guess.

'White Houses', though it chronicles a love affair between a famous, married woman and a reporter, isn’t ask scandalous as you’d think. This wasn’t some tawdry affair. More important, 'White Houses' is as much about Lorena Hickok’s childhood as it is about the affair. And Hickok’s childhood was tragic.

Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok: A Not So Shocking...

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If one were reading this ONLY as a novel,  it's a great read and wonderful love story. However,  it is "based on" real people and, supposedly, historical documents. I am always, however, skeptical of the "historical" basis when authors do as Bloom did here--cite those "sources" only in vague terms without giving any actual sources that can be consulted and cross-referenced.
I also often question the morality of exposing such private lives,  even of historical public figures, after they are unable to comment on them or give consent for such exposure.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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White houses is the secret scandalous love life that went on between Eleanor Roosevelt and her friend Lorena Hickok. The plot should have been exciting, reading about this time in American history. However, it felt very lackluster to me. Lorena’s story was just not interesting to me. I wanted to like this one, but it just kind bored me.
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I don't know why I chose this book it was not what I was looking for at all.  I like historical fiction but not historical fiction smut which is what this is.  Sorry zero stars.
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White Houses is a beautifully written impressionistic depiction of two women caught in a particular time in history. I knew nothing about this relationship and very little about Eleanor Roosevelt. It's always hard to know how true a work of historical fiction is to the characters or events it depicts. In this case, it's hard to tell but Bloom's depiction of these women has a convincing air of reality. I'm left wanting to read more about them -- especially Eleanor -- which is not a bad thing.. I just adore Amy Bloom.
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"White Houses" tells the fictional account of a historically true story about the love affair between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok. For fans of "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Told from the point of view of Lorena Hickok, author Amy Bloom does a terrific job of showing us the history of these two women as they intersect during the high point of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential run.

Covering stories for the FDR campaign and presidency, Lorena becomes romantically involved with the almost aloof Eleanor and the two work to keep their romance alive while hiding it, almost unsuccessfully, from everyone. The...

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This is a novel of the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok from when they first meet during Franklin Roosevelt's first presidential campaign to after she moves into the White House to what happens afterwards. Beautifully written story.
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