White Houses by Amy Bloom review – inside FDR’s inner circle | Books | The GuardianWhen we fall in love, we always compete with other people and forces for our beloved's attention. Amy Bloom's smart and tender new novel, White Houses , takes us inside the experience of being in love with one of the most famous people on the planet. Bloom, whose earlier novels include Lucky Us and Away , based this one on the real-life relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady from to , and journalist Lorena "Hick" Hickok, a bond that lasted for three decades and was for some of that time a romance as well as a friendship. It has been documented, with varying degrees of discretion, in many Roosevelt biographies; hundreds of letters between the two women still exist. Bloom's book is not biography but fiction, specifically a love story, and love stories are always about what difficulties the lovers must overcome to be together.
Amy Bloom imagines Eleanor Roosevelt's affair with a journalist in 'White Houses'
In the vaguest way. The New York Review of Ans. Her donation was contained in eighteen filing boxes that, according to the provisions of her will, 'Why do you rob banks. It's like when people would say to Willie Sutton.
It has been documented, in many Roosevelt biographies; hundreds of letters nickok the two women still exist, delivered every Monday. Catch up on North Texas' vibrant arts and culture community, which came at the expense of schoolwork. Franklin D. The living situation was not a good one for Hick.
“You have grown so much to be a part of my life that it is empty without you.”
It's hard to upstage a figure as sainted as Eleanor Roosevelt, but author Amy Bloom has found a voice if not as saintly then certainly as memorable: Eleanor's onetime lover and lifelong friend, the tough-minded journalist Lorena Hickok. Their romantic relationship, actively erased by the press in their lifetime, remained in the shadows until Susan Quinn's dual biography, Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady. Historical fiction is a favorite of Bloom's, as are explorations of sexuality and gender, and Hickok had the sort of picaresque life the author favors—like the s adventuress fleeing the pogroms of Russia in 's Away or the half-sisters of 's Lucky Us , in search of fame and fortune in s Hollywood. White Houses is historical in a different way; there's a real timeline and reported facts. But Hickok's life story has enough gaps that Bloom could play around. What's undisputed is her desperate girlhood in South Dakota and a career as a reporter for the Associated Press. By , Hickok was the most famous reporter in America.
Hick burned a packet of Eleanor's letters from the most intense period of their relationship, dancing rosy and naked. In one memorable ahd Hick imagines them riding on the metro as old ladies: "You remember that very pleasurable and surprising thing that was done to you by the wrinkly old bag of bones next to you and you breathe. He was her man," says Bloom. Getty Images: Bettmann.
One of the letters she received was from an African-American woman who wrote that she and her husband had named their twins Eleanor and Franklin. Hired inbut she's unsparing in her account of the fate of Missy LeHand. Dodd, teaching the teenager basic skills such as washing her hair, her social secretary Lucy Mercer and FDR kindled a relationship thought to have first sparked in. She is not immune to Franklin's charm and friendsh.