Published by Random House on 2014
Genres: Coming of Age, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Girls & Women, Historical
Source: Random House
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"My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us."
Brilliantly written, deeply moving, fantastically funny, Lucky Us introduces us to Eva and Iris. Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star, and Eva, the sidekick, journey across 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris's ambitions take them from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island.
With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine through a landscape of big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and war. Filled with gorgeous writing, memorable characters, and surprising events, Lucky Us is a thrilling and resonant novel about success and failure, good luck and bad, the creation of a family, and the pleasures and inevitable perils of family life. From Brooklyn's beauty parlors to London's West End, a group of unforgettable people love, lie, cheat, and survive in this story of our fragile, absurd, heroic species.
I received this book for free from Random House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
LUCKY US by Amy Bloom starts with the following line: ““My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.” Unfortunately, things did not stay with that same level of awesomeness. What I was pitched by the synopsis was a story that involved two sisters stumbling through life together. What I got was two sisters thrown together until something happened that tears them apart and the rest of the story we only really get to see the life of the one sister – Eva – the sister who, in spite of Bloom’s best efforts, was somewhat of a wet-rag type of character.
Am I being too harsh? I don’t think so. I really tried to get on Eva’s side. I wanted to be able to root for her, but she just kind of floundered around in this story. She never takes a stand for anything, never speaks up for herself, and instead, she seems to constantly be apologizing for being just … there. Some very interesting characters enjoy Eva, so I’m sure that there was an intention there for her to be interesting and worth following, but instead I felt just a bit gypped because I wanted to follow Iris through her life and, through an interesting turn of events, all I got were letters and a wrapped up ending.
Bloom touches on some heavy subjects in LUCKY US – from Japanese internment camps, Nazi sympathizers, deportation, and gay and lesbian issues during the WW2 era. But she only touches on them, leaving the exploration out of the picture and using only parts of those issues in order to make her story seem more.. legitimate perhaps? I’m not really sure how to put it other than that way, because what I got out of LUCKY US was a that it was an historical novel that saved face as an historical novel because it included some pretty big issues from the WW2 era. Strip those issues away and all that would be left is a mediocre relationship between two girls – only one of whom flirted at being something more than a two-dimensional character.
Check out these reviews!
- “Based on the description, I was expecting another kind of book. I thought more of the focus would be on Iris’s quest for stardom. Even so, I LOVED this book. “ – Finding my Virginity
- “I would highly suggest you read this book if you are interested in coming of age type stories!” – Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown
- “The beauty of this tale is that everywhere Eva goes, she is meeting people to add to her list of those to love or who love her, slowly but surely creating a family she can one day count on.” – Pathologically Literate