Book Review - White Houses by Amy Bloom
Back in February, I had the opportunity to hear Amy Bloom speak about White Houses at a Left Bank Books event co-sponsored by Maryville Talks Books. I often have mixed feelings about book talks:
- You often get the book along with the ticket to the event so you aren't expected to have read the book already, but I kinda want to read the book ahead of time so that I really understand the parts the author talks about and so that I can have an informed question.
- Sometimes I don't want to hear the author's intention because a book and the reader often have their own relationship/understanding separate from the author. So say the author doesn't particularly like the protagonist but I felt a real connection to her. I don't want the author's opinions to color my perception of the book.
- Sometimes authors are great writers and terrible public speakers.
- Most of these events end in a signing and I rarely have an interest in the author signing my book, because I'd rather give it away to someone else who will enjoy it rather than it sitting on my bookshelf.
But despite all that, I went to see Amy Bloom speak and I have to say, I loved hearing her talk about this book! It got me even more excited about reading it. So why am I just now writing up a post about? Alas, that is a book blogger's life. But it is here, now, and I really want you to read this one!
White Houses is about Lorena Hickok and her longtime friendship and love affair with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The story is told from the perspective of Hick (as she is called) and is mostly her reminiscing about the time she spent with Eleanor, her fondest memories as well as her personal story growing up and how she and Eleanor met. It is a fascinating story! If you're more of an audiobook type, I think you'll really enjoy this book on Audible (which is how I "read" it.) The narrator has a gravelly voice which will give you a better sense of what Hick was really like...somewhat rough around the edges and a longtime smoker.