White Houses by Amy Bloom

White Houses

For readers of The Paris Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue comes a love story inspired by "one of the most intriguing relationships in history"*--between 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," ...

Details White Houses

TitleWhite Houses
Release DateFeb 13th, 2018
PublisherRandom House Large Print Publishing
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Lgbt

Reviews White Houses

  • Larry H
    Fifty-five years after her death, and more than 70 years after she left the White House following her husband's death, Eleanor Roosevelt remains one of the most intriguing women in history. She certainly was a role model for trailblazing women not interested in being confined to the boxes in which society wants to contain them, but rather working to bring about change wherever it is needed. While much is known about her public persona, her person...
  • Angela M
    Whenever I read fictionalized accounts of famous people I always wonder about what really happened. I especially wonder about their conversations and I have to keep reminding myself that I'm reading a work of fiction. Amy Bloom in this wonderfully written book, imagines the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lenora Hickok, an AP reporter who becomes Eleanor's "first friend" and actually for a time moves into the White House. While I did w...
  • Elyse
    The writing by Amy Bloom in “White Houses” is beautiful.....soooo lovely!!!We learn a lot about Lorena Hickok, American journalist: her troubled childhood in South Dakota of sexual abuse - abandonment- poverty - and starting out on her own from an early age. Lorena also disclosed her relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt. — All from Lorena Hickok’s perspective. Sure feels real to me... but it’s written as fiction. Amy Bloom did tremendous...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    5 starting-my-new-year-in-reading-with-an-absolute-BANG 🎉 💥 🎇 stars to White Houses 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟My grandmother had a saying that what you were doing when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve is what you will be doing all year long. I always thought it was some kind of scare tactic. 😂 I shared that with some of my book friends, and they were told a similar saying, but instead it’s what you do on New Year’s Da...
  • Karen❄️
    This book is a work of fiction based on the relationship of Eleanor Roosevelt and her long time friend and companion, Lorena Hickock. Lorena’s voice narrates this story. They both seemed to be lost souls that found together, what they both never had in life, and it was written in a beautiful and intimate way. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the advanced copy!
  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 A fly on the wall, that is how I felt reading this novel. Told from the viewpoint of Hick, we are privvy to intimate glimpses of her relationship with Eleanor, as well as glimpses into the secrets of those living in the White House. Roosevelt and his harem, as Hick calls them, the way his polio was hidden, and the relationship he and Eleanor had with their children.The book opens a short time after Roosevelt's death, and circles back to this ...
  • Cheri
    “In many dreams I've held you near,Now, at last, you're really here.“Where have you been?I've looked for you forever and a dayWhere have you been?I'm just not myself when you're away” -- Where Have You Been lyrics by Kathy MatteaWhen Franklin D. Roosevelt was campaigning to become the 32nd President, Lorena Hickok was one of many reporters covering his campaign. Through this, she meets, and is befriended by Eleanor Roosevelt, despite their...
  • Debbie
    3.5I forgot, folks, I forgot!I forgot I don’t like historical fiction that’s based on famous people. Why was my memory snoozing when I picked up this book? I remember (of course, too late) that I swore off reading such books after I finished Twain's End and suddenly thought Mark Twain was a jerk. I used to like Mark Twain, but after reading that book, where it shows how he ruined his mistress’s life, I hate his guts. I even researched the f...
  • Esil
    White Houses is a fictionalized account of Eleanor Roosevelt's relationship with Lorena Hickok. The novel is narrated from Hickok's perspective. It's more of a character study than a story. Hickok recounts part of her childhood, and moves back and forth in time, always coming back to the few days following FDR's death. What made this worth reading to me were the writing and the sharply drawn personalities of these characters. Bloom makes it easy ...
  • 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 ...
  • Toni
    This has to be Amy Bloom's best and most beautiful book yet. She left her heart on its pages, especially the heart of Lorena Hickok. Most of us know what an incredible woman Eleanor Roosevelt was as First Lady to FDR and later in her own right, stepped out from behind her husband's shadow. Eleanor was a tireless giver, to her family, her husband, her children, the people of this country, and even the world. She fought for the downtrodden, the poo...
    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...
  • 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 relations...
  • Laura Sandonato
    Thanks to NetGalley for giving me White Houses in exchange for my honest review.Eleanor Roosevelt had an affair with a woman, who Knew? Apparently, it’s not so common, common knowledge. In White Houses, Amy Bloom tells a fictional story about the real-life romance between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. White Houses fascinated me, but not it the way you might guess.White Houses, though it chronicles a love affair between a famous, married ...
  • Sarah
    I had a lot of trouble deciding how to rate this book, because my feelings were all over the map. There were parts that were 5 stars for me, and parts that didn't work as well. There were times the writing felt a bit too distant, and times when it was intensely raw and intimate. But overall, this was a really worthwhile reading experience.There is not really a plot to this book. It is more a series of vignettes of Hick and Eleanor's relationship ...
  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    To be reviewed!
  • Jill
    I have often wondered what draws me to literary fiction and I believe the answer is this: fiction creates worlds, while non-fiction relays these worlds. This is a vast simplification, of course, but it helped me to understand my mixed feelings about White Houses.The book is based on fact: the intriguing relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and her oft-companion, Lorena Hickok, the AP reporter who was assigned to cover her. Based on more than th...
  • Valerity *
    I found this to be a well written historical fiction that made for a thoughtful read as it looks back into the relationship between Eleanor Franklin and journalist Lorena ”Hick” Hickock. It’s not my usual genre but I enjoyed a great deal the way it was handled. It’s told in the voice of Hickock, who worked for the Associated Press covering Roosevelt’s run for the White House when she met Eleanor. Over time they became very close. By the...
  • Bandit
    Whilst watching (and sleeping to, it seriously is incredibly effective as a sleeping aid) PBS miniseries The Roosevelts, I was surprised to see the insignificant amount of screen time given to Eleanor’s lesbian affair. Albeit in no small way owning to the fact that the PBS went after just about every other detail with the sort of exhaustive attention that resulted in a seemingly endless program. I mean it does end eventually, I just haven’t m...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    wow, I loved it. I didn't expect to be so interested in Eleanor Roosevelt's love life, but Lorena Hickok is the gem in the novel- well done Amy Bloom!via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/(I never envied a wife or a husband, until I met Eleanor. Then, I would have traded everything I ever had, every limo ride, every skinny-dip, every byline and carefree stroll for what Franklin had, polio and all.)I never thought I would find a ficti...
  • MaryBeth's Bookshelf
    I received a digital copy of White Houses from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Historical Fiction is my favorite genre so I was very excited to receive a copy of this book. I read a lot of Historical Fiction novels and I always find myself wondering how much of this is true or how close to the truth is this story. Do I believe Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian - sure. However, this story seemed too far-fetched for me. Their relationship ...
  • Cynthia
    White Houses is a short engaging fiction of the alleged lesbian relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and her close friend and sometime lover Lorena Hickcock. Of course Eleanor had a protected and privileged background always surrounded, and stifled, by family while Hickok came from a tough, abusive, poor family from South Dakota and she left home in her early teens maybe not by her choice. She knocked around eventually landing as a journalist w...
  • Staci
    White Houses is a fact based fictional account of the life of Lorena Hickok and her relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt. I found the first half of this novel very engaging and interesting but the second half got a little boring.There were a lot of things that I really enjoyed about this novel. I learned a lot about Lorena Hickok and found her to be a remarkable and very accomplished person. She came from a very poor and abusive family situation y...
  • Kirsty
    I have read two books by Amy Bloom thus far, and very much enjoyed them both. It is with sadness that I found her newest novel, White Houses, was nowhere as good as I was expecting. Whilst the social and historical context here are strong, the prose is not engaging, the plot a little lacklustre given the details which she could have focused upon, the characters shadowy, and the entirety of the book rather underwhelming.
  • Hope Sloper
    I am head-over-heels in love with Lorena Hickok and her tale. The character and detail Lorena gives the story adds verisimilitude to the novel; I had to constantly remind myself that I was reading a work of fiction. While her childhood story was often graphic and sad, Lorena is a strong character that pushes through life, ultimately, the good and the bad, lead her to the White House. The story doesn’t stop there.She is a well written, highly de...
  • Maine Colonial
    I received a free ARC from the publisher through Amazon's Vine program.I’ve been an admirer of Amy Bloom’s novels for a few years now. Their subjects are wildly different, but at their heart they are all about the many types, stages and moods of love.I had no particular interest in reading about Eleanor Roosevelt or her probably-more-than-friend Lorena Hickok, but because it was Amy Bloom, I had to read it. And, as always, I was rewarded.“H...
  • Wendi Lee
    *4.5 stars*I've been a fan of Amy Bloom's ever since reading Come to Me, so I was thrilled when I received an ARC for her newest novel, White Houses. I've also been interested in learning more about Eleanor Roosevelt, whom I know little about her other than her status as a progressive, feminist icon. White Houses is about the love affair between Roosevelt and her "first friend," Lorena Hickok. For several years, Hick lived in the White House with...
  • Erin
    3.5 stars Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review. A touching fictionalized story about the love affair between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and writer Lorna Hickok. Amy Bloom tells the story of the two women through Lorna's eyes as she recounts their past and present romantic relationship. You see me.You see all of me and I don't think you love everything you see. I hope you do, but I doubt you do. But, you se...
  • Laurie
    Wow! I had no idea!!!!! This book made me want to dive into the lives of the Roosevelts! Loved it!
  • Carla
    Absolutely LOVED this book. Amy Bloom does a wonderful job of presenting the beautiful friendship and love shared between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Alice Hickok. Eleanor Roosevelt was certainly a woman before her time. This relationship stood the test of time. An untold story, fictionalized, which is endearing. Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy for an honest review.