White Houses by Amy Bloom. Historical fiction, published in 2018. An oh so intimate love story of the secret, scandalous kind between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and respected AP reporter, Lorena Hickok. Told in the first-person voice of Hickok, they meet while she covers Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign (1932) and develop into a passionate life-long relationship.
Her friends called her “Hick” and the duo was a known open secret. Their love took them from the White House to Hyde Park to a little white house on Long Island, yucking it up over their handsome, matronly looks that only they would want. It’s an endearing part of the story and I love how Bloom describes their entwined feet.
I thought there was not much I didn’t already know about Eleanor, a tireless advocate for the country’s poor and powerless. But Bloom’s writing brings forward the Eleanor as a loving, passionate human being. The story centers around Hick, from South Dakota and poorer than poor. Her side of the story is tough to read…this duo couldn’t have been more different. But you’ll root for the boot- strapping, hard-working, unglamorous, tough broad that she is. She’s also an excellent story teller.
It’s a short read, 218 pages and a story worth knowing. In the Cool Mona rating system, I easily give it 4 margaritas.