Cover Image: White Houses

White Houses

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Member Reviews

This was a very enjoyable portrayal of the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and her journalist friend, "Hick". I wish there was more insight into the thoughts of these two woman as their friendship blossomed, but even so, the historical and political backdrop made this an intriguing story.
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This was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it. thanks for letting me have an advance copy. I'm new to this author.
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This novel is told from the point of view of Lorena Hickok (“Hick”), a journalist whose real life close friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt has historians debating whether the two were in fact in a relationship. They are both interesting historical figures and it’s an interesting question, but sadly this book, while coming down firmly on the side of yes, they had a relationship, gives you zero insight into either of their minds or their relationship. Instead, it just jumps all around in time in what to me was a totally incoherent fashion, giving little feeling of a narrative and leaving allthe characters feeling very flat.

Interestingly, I read another novel by a different author a few years ago, Loving Eleanor, also told from Hick’s perspective, which was also a disappointment. I don’t know if both authors felt constrained writing about real characters who left much correspondence in the historical record, or if there is just something about these two women that just can’t be captured on paper, or what, but sadly both books left me cold.

I absolutely love Amy Bloom’s earlier work, but despite the occasional lovely turn of phrase, both this and her most recent book before this, Lucky Us, did not really do anything for me.
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This is historical fiction tale of Eleanor Roosevelt and her friend Lorena Hickok.  This is the story of how they met, and how their relationship moved from there.  This story is written more from "Hick's" side, and is a wonderful addition to their story.
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I enjoy historical books and Eleanor Roosevelt is a hero of mine so I had high expectations and this book met them all. A gem of a book.
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I started reading this a couple of times, and even borrowed a physical copy of the book from my local library to see if that would further my interest, but the story didn't connect with me.
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Amy Bloom has written a wonderful historical fiction story.  The story is about the relationship between Eleanor Franklin and journalist Lorena ”Hick” Hickock.  Happy Reading!

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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I'm a sucker for any historical fiction, but White Houses went above and beyond my expectations. It offers such a personal and unique perspective of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. All the characters are richly described and fleshed out and the backdrop of the political unrest and upheaval makes you really feel like you were apart of these crazy times!!
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This book is one that I would not usually pick up. It had a unique plotline, the characters were fun and charismatic.
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Love Amy Bloom! This was no exception. The intimate friendship forged between Eleanor and Hick was a delight to watch unfold in this fictional account. I had been unaware of this story before reading this book, and while I knew at the same time a nonfiction book about the relationship was released, I was much more eager to read this one. I knew Bloom would do it justice. A lovely little gem of a story.
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RATING: 4 STARS
2018; Random House Publishing Group - Random House

A beautifully written novel about two strong women in history. "Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign." Lorena, "Hick"meets Eleanor and it is not love at first sight. Hick worked her way up from poverty, and risen in journalism and making friends. It is spending time together that brings the two together, and builds a friendship and something more. This novel explores Hick's life and how the two kept in touch throughout their life. I enjoyed this novel, and am looking forward to trying other novels by Bloom.

***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***
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Written during a time that this subject was a HOT one.  I learned so much from this story and came to further admire Eleanor as a woman away from being first lady.  Beautiful cover and even better story inside
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This was an easy read. I loved the setting and really enjoyed the descriptive language to describe locations. Historical fiction is an interesting genre to read I think as you always learn something of the era, even if the facts of the novel veer off course. This novel is told from the point of view of  Lorena Hickok’s otherwise known as Hick.  She tells the love story of her relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt, of their devotion, of their lives in the White House and of her relationship with Franklin D Roosevelt.  While we don't know for certain which aspects of this novel actually cling very closely to the truth it still provided a strong and intriguing piece of enjoyable and worthwhile fiction. It opened my eyes to the relationships of both Roosevelts and has sparked by enthusiasm to learn more.
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Oh. This isn't what I wanted or what I thought this would be. It mostly feels like Hick just telling (and I do mean TELLING, not showing) her life story. Eleanor is a big part of that, sure, but I didn't feel like this was their love story.

There are a lot of flashbacks that just aren't very elegantly done. More than once, I had trouble telling what time period we were in.

I was bored and disappointed
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I am in charge of our Senior School library and now during this time of lockdown, I am looking for a diverse array of new books to furnish their shelves with and inspire our young people to read a wider and more diverse range of books as they move through the senior school. It is hard sometimes to find books that will grab the attention of young people as their time is short and we are competing against technology and online entertainments.
This was a thought-provoking and well-written read that will appeal to readers across the board. It had a really strong voice and a compelling narrative that I think would capture their attention and draw them in. It kept me engrossed and I think that it's so important that the books that we purchase for both our young people and our staff are appealing to as broad a range of readers as possible - as well as providing them with something a little 'different' that they might not have come across in school libraries before.
This was a really enjoyable read and I will definitely be purchasing a copy for school so that our young people can enjoy it for themselves. A satisfying and well-crafted read that I keep thinking about long after closing its final page - and that definitely makes it a must-buy for me!
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I think if you like historical fiction based on real people, then you probably will like this, but unfortunately, that just isn't a subgenre that I am interested in. And I ALWAYS FORGET this! I just always get in my head with things like "well I don't remember that in my history book". But of course, if this genre is somehting that intrigues you, I'd definitely give it a chance!
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White Houses by Amy Bloom tells the story of Lenora Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt, living and cavorting together between the White House in Washington, DC and a home called Little White House on Long Island, NY.

This is the imagined story of Eleanor Roosevelt and her long time friend and possible lover Lorena Hickok.  Told from the perspective Hickok, we hear about her childhood and how she came from nothing to become a newspaper reporter.  Then how she met Eleanor Roosevelt and became her special friend, living in the White House and traveling with the First Lady.

This is the story of their relationship.  Lenora Hickok grew up with a violent father and her mother, who was too timid to protect Lenora and her two younger sisters from him.  Her mother also dies when Lenora is ten years old.  Her father brings home a new wife and then they decide to leave the state and leave Lenora to work in servitude, taking her younger sisters with them.  She never has a relationship with her family again.  Through a series of different odd experiences she ends up working for a newspaper and becomes a reporter.  When she gets the opportunity to cover the presidential election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  She meets Eleanor and their relationship begins.

It does seem from articles and letters of the time that Teddy had his affairs and Eleanor had her interactions within the marriage and that the couple had an agreement.  They gave each other the room for these outside affairs. 

Interesting and also remembering it is a novel wondering how much is true from letters and records and how much is embellished.  Not as shocking, of course, as it may have been then.
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I thought the subject matter of this book was really interesting and I wasn’t bored, but I felt like the dialogue could be stiff at times. I also thought the flashbacks could get confusing and I felt myself unsure of when a conversation/event was taking place for longer than I should be.
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I really enjoyed this novel and learned a lot about the Roosevelts that frankly, I had no idea about before. I'll be looking for more titles from Amy Bloom in the future.
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I confess I didn’t know much about Eleanor Roosevelt, and certainly nothing about her private life.  While this was certainly a taboo subject in the 1930s, I’m not sure I needed all the details of the relationship between Eleanor and Lorena. Although the writing is beautiful.
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