White Houses by Amy Bloom
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Amy Bloom + Eleanor Roosevelt = Yes, Please! I have been waiting for this one for months. I have always enjoyed Bloom’s writing – especially her non-fiction writing in magazines. But, I also enjoy her novels. I didn’t know a lot about Eleanor and Lorena Hickok so I was interested in Bloom’s take on that relationship. The insight into Lorena’s background experiences and the effect they had on her later were quite well done. I really enjoyed reading about the Roosevelt marriage through the eyes of a fictional Lorena. It was fascinating … their marriage was definitely unusual. This is certainly a love story. From interviews I’ve listened to with Bloom, it sounds like she tried to base the majority of the story on what has been documented but then elevated the story by adding in fictional elements and suppositions based on the facts. I think Bloom did a great job of making this time in history and the characters come alive. My primary issue with the novel was the way it was all pulled together – I’m not sure if it was a lack of experience with historical fiction or what? I just never felt that it all came together as it could (should?) have. Nonetheless, I definitely think it was a good read, one that I’m glad I picked up. If you’re interested in the Roosevelts, this is definitely one to try!
NOTE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.