• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of White Houses by Amy Bloom

ICYMI: White Houses is gorgeously written, exhaustingly researched historical fiction about Eleanor Roosevelt and her love, Lorena Hickock, and it was a five-star read for me.

Oh, this book!

Bloom’s writing is exquisite. The characters in White Houses are funny, heartbreaking, and feel alive.

I loved the behind-the-scenes peeks at the residential rooms of the Roosevelt White House (which, Bloom recounts in interviews, functioned more like a not-very-fancy boarding house at the time).

The dialogue is incredible, and the faulted main players are irresistible. The final paragraphs of the book in "first friend" Lorena Hickock’s voice were so gorgeous, they made me want to weep.

In preparation for writing this story, Bloom read 3,000 letters between "Hick" and Eleanor—along with studying biographies, other books, and conducting more extensive research—and she channels each woman into an indelible force of nature that she brings to life here.

What a satisfyingly rich world and story—yet I’m still dying for a long, detailed interview in which Bloom lays bare even more about the real-life love, the lasting friendship, and the whole remarkable relationship between Eleanor and Lorena, especially in that place and during that time.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Bloom is also the author of the heartbreakingly beautiful In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss, Away, Lucky Us, Come to Me: Stories, and A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You: Stories.