White Houses

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," as she's known to her friends and admirers, is not quite instantly charmed by the idealistic, patrician Eleanor. But then, as her connection with the future first lady deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into a lasting love, and a life that Hick never expected to have. She moves into the White House, where her status as "first friend" is an open secret, as are FDR's own lovers. After she takes a job in the Roosevelt administration, promoting and protecting both Roosevelts, she comes to know Franklin not only as a great president but as a complicated rival and an irresistible friend, capable of changing lives even after his death. Through it all, even as Hick's bond with Eleanor is tested by forces both extraordinary and common, and as she grows as a woman and a writer, she never loses sight of the love of her life.

From Washington, D.C. to Hyde Park, from a little white house on Long Island to an apartment on Manhattan's Washington Square, Amy Bloom's new novel moves elegantly through fascinating places and times, written in compelling prose and with emotional depth, wit, and acuity.

Advance praise for White Houses

"Amy Bloom brings an untold slice of history so dazzlingly and devastatingly to life, it took my breath away."--Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

"A novel of the secret, scandalous love of Eleanor Roosevelt and her longtime friend and companion Lorena Hickok, who relates the tale in her own, quite wonderful voice."--Joyce Carol Oates

"Lorena Hickok is a woman who found love with another lost soul, Eleanor Roosevelt. And love is what this book is all about: It suffuses every page, so that by the time you reach the end, you are simply stunned by the beauty of the world these two carved out for themselves."--Melanie Benjamin, author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue*

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4.6 of 5 stars (Votes: 178)

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    White Houses Reviews

  • 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 certai...

  • 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 - abandon...

  • 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...

  • 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 midnig...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! “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...

  • 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 rec...

  • JanB

    This is a fictionalized account of the friendship, and probable lesbian relationship, between Lenora Hickok (“Hick”), a journalist, and Eleanor Roosevelt. The author tells the story through Lenora...