Cover Image: Loving Eleanor

Loving Eleanor

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Member Reviews

It is really great to see books about women who might think they're doing nothing extraordinary at the time but are actually leaving a wonderful legacy for all of us generations later.
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This is a fictional account of the relationship between Lorena Hickock, the first major female AP reporter, and Eleanor Roosevelt, told from the perspective of "Hick," as she is called. I did not know about their allegedly romantic relationship, so that was interesting, as was some of the other historical background. However, while this book was clearly well-researched, sometimes it felt like a rather dry, surface recitation of facts. The writing was somewhat simple and trite, and the characters never came to life. Also, I can't remember ever reading historical fiction told in the first person from the perspective of an actual person, and this felt both presumptuous and odd. Honestly, I'm somewhat perplexed that there are so many 5 star reviews of this book.
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Loving Eleanor was a book that I would call a different kind of book. It was the kind of book that was a novel, but it was about people that really existed so it was about history as well as the author adding things to make it more of a novel. I’ve always loved history, but this was the first historical novel that I’ve read, as well as being one of the first adult novels meaning not classified as young adult novels that I’ve read. I got this book as a trail read before the book came out, but I really loved this book and I am so happy that I was able to read it. From the start of the first chapter, I was not sorry that I picked this book to read, as it talked about events that I hadn’t even heard of. The other thing that drew me to the book, was that the main character was a journalist, and I have always favored characters and people that are a journalist. I would recommend this book to anyone that would like to read a fun novel, one that has you feel a lot of different emotions as you’re reading. Any fan of history or Eleanor would really like this book I believe. 
This book talked about the events of Lorena Hickok referred to as Hick mostly in the novel, and Eleanor Roosevelt Hick in the novel and the real women was a journalist, and her assignment was to write about the first lady. Something fictional about this book is the relationship between Hick and Eleanor as lovers I didn’t know this was fictional until the end of the novel when the author said it was, as the author does a great job of making you the reader think that this is what really happened. The book talks about the adventures of these two women both together and apart, and you learn about the women that they were. Historical events that happened during FDR’s presidency and a little bit about his private life are also discussed. This book I feel was a wonderful way to learn something about history, but it wasn’t as boring as reading a history book can be.
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It's mere chance that journalist Lorena Hickok is assigned to cover Eleanor Roosevelt, but chance can sometimes lead to deeper connection, as both Hick and Eleanor find out.  They are romantically drawn to each other, but Eleanor also faces the scrutiny that goes with being a public figure, and both women will have to decide where their loyalties, and their hearts, truly lie.  This story delves into the fascinating and relatively unknown aspects and personal lives of two well-known, public-facing women.  Recommended for historical fiction and f/f romance fans.
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Great for my adult readers and history buffs! Eleanor Roosevelt was an extraordinary woman, and lead an extraordinary life, being able to read about her from a completely new perspective provides amazing insight into an amazing lady!!
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Lorena “Hick” Hickok, one of the first female AP reporters in the 1930s, narrates this novel about her lifelong relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt. Throughout Eleanor’s husband’s campaigns and presidency, to Eleanor’s own work in service to the American people, Hick stood by her with love and friendship. Now, at the end of her life, Hick has decided to tell the true story of her love for Eleanor.

In 1932, Hick was assigned with covering the presidential campaign and election. During her time spent following Franklin Roosevelt, she became close with his wife Eleanor and learned that her marriage was mostly for political show. Although Franklin was involved in a long-term affair with his secretary, Eleanor was trapped in the marriage and prevented from finding her own lover. The two women form a bond of mutual respect that develops into a strong friendship – and eventually into romantic passion.

With the backdrop of the Great Depression, FDR’s New Deal, and World War II, we see through Hick’s eyes that Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong, intelligent, complex woman in her own right. Hick is willing to give up everything for Eleanor, but the First Lady is committed to her role as co-leader of the country – not just as a figurehead, but by actually making positive change in the world.  

This is of course a fictional memoir of Hick, as she describes her time “loving Eleanor.” She explains what their relationship meant for her own life and career, as well as the ways that she influenced Eleanor – especially in her advocacy for women. Love is an important part of the story, but the novel is truly about these two strong women whose paths collide as they attempt to change the world. Despite the historical setting, this is an easy, accessible read.

As Eleanor and Hick mature, their relationship becomes less stormy and passionate, and instead settles into an enduring friendship, which has been captured in the thousands of letters that passed between the two women. Although these letters are part of the historical record (and of course open to interpretation), I had no idea that the romantic relationship between Eleanor and Hick is considered to be factual by most historians. After reading this, I look forward to learning more about Eleanor Roosevelt and the policies she helped to create.

Although I was interested by the historical aspects of this novel, it is ultimately a love story – showing all the phases of a relationship and how it perseveres in the face of obstacles. I appreciated the story, but I didn’t like the tone of the novel, which rang false and even seemed a bit juvenile at times. Regardless, it was still well worth the read.

I received this book from Persevero Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I could not get into the story once I started reading and I tried several times. I was very disappointed as the book blurb sounded so interesting. 

Personally, I think it was just not my cup of tea.
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An eye-opening look into the intimate relationship between these two women.
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Thank you for the opportunity to review this publication.
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