Read White Houses by Amy Bloom Online

White Houses

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...

Title : White Houses
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780525589921
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 pages
Url Type : Home » White » White Houses

White Houses Reviews

  • Roman Clodia

    I said that the Potsdam diner was a delight. She said that after the funeral there was corned beef and cabbage and homemade beer. She said the service was Irish Catholic and heartfelt. I hung up my coat and made a show of taking out my notebook and doing my job, and asking about her husband's ambitions.


    Lordy lord, if you can manage to read such flat, 'told', random prose then you're more tolerant than I am. I'm really intrigued by this relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and 'Hick', a lesbi ...more

  • JanB

    This is a fictionalized account of the friendship, and probable lesbian relationship, between Lenora Hickok (“Hick”), a journalist, and Eleanor Roosevelt. The author tells the story through Lenora’s eyes and what I enjoyed the most are the historical details: the Lindburgh kidnapping, the camp the Roosevelts founded for victims of polio, the marriage between Franklin and Eleanor, FDR’s affairs, the Roosevelt children…and more.

    I enjoyed Hick’s voice and the details of her abusive childhood gave
    ...more

  • Liz



    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

  • Tasha

    In the end, or from the start, this really wasn't for me. I was excited to read this but it really fell flat almost from the start. It felt more like a desperate romance with focus on the physical and not the more emotional connection between two people that I expected. The timeline jumped all over the place and made the story feel disjointed. I know this book gets lots of love from other readers but it just didn't work for me at all.

    Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for a copy of this eb
    ...more

  • *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    This is a work of historical fiction about first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her romantic relationship with American journalist Lorena Hickok (nicknamed "Hick"). Born in Wisconsin, Hickok triumphed over a disastrous childhood to eventually become a reporter for the Associated Press (AP). She was assigned to cover Franklin D. Roosevelt's first presidential campaign when she established a close friendship with the future First Lady.

    I had an unusual experience reading this book in that I tore throu
    ...more

  • RoseMary Achey

    How can a love story have no emotion? None, zero, zip. The characters were flat and devoid of any humanization. Wow...can't believe this one actually made it from manuscript to published work.

  • Betsy Robinson

    After you’ve read a number of books by an author, you may be able to pinpoint where they hit you. For me, Amy Bloom’s luscious writing lands in my mouth. Specifically, my taste buds. And my mouth waters as I read as if I’ve been served my fantasy feast and it’s just for me and I can eat it as slowly or as quickly as I please and make all the private pleasure sounds you don’t make in public because this experience is mine, mine, mine—intimate and private.

    Her new book, like her previous novels Awa

    In grateful Memory of

    Teacher . . .

    Who led a little girl out of the dark

    And gave to the world . . .


    Helen Keller


    Now that I know so much more about Hickok, I understand this quote in my heart.



    Hickok's bio, at that time.

    A Note about Reading a Digital Version

    I bought the Kindle version of this book and I attribute some confusion in following time-hopping transitions to that. I imagine that the design elements—which were in the Kindle version—separating time jumps would have been clearer on a printed page. I've read Bloom's previous novels in hardcover and am fairly sure she used this device in them—delineated by leaders, asterisks, and double spacing—with no confusion. Lesson: real books are almost always a better reading experience.



    Panel Discussion

    I saw Amy Bloom in conversation with Blanche Wiesen Cook, the historian who wrote the biography that inspired Bloom's novel, at Roosevelt House (where Roosevelt and Hick first met). Here's my blog. ...more

  • ☮Karen

    3.5 stars.

    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