Lucky Us

Lucky Us

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Forging a life together after being abandoned by their parents, half sisters Eva and Iris share decades in and out of the spotlight in golden-era Hollywood and mid-twentieth-century Long Island.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781400067244
1400067243
9780812978940
Characteristics: 240 pages ; 25 cm

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athompson10 Jun 17, 2016

Amy Wood is a confident and descriptive writer who has a knack for inventing interesting characters in interesting situations. Some of this book felt a little disjointed.

c
cknightkc
Nov 29, 2015

LUCKY US is a novel about love, reinvention, and family (as in the one we’re born into and the one we choose). Kudos to author Amy Bloom for capturing the feel of 1940’s America. Her inclusion within the story of real people, places, and events from that era (such as, actress Patsy Kelly, gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, L.A.’s Firenze Gardens, Fort Lincoln Internment Camp, Little Blue Books, and the Society for Human Rights) were interesting and informative. Even the titles of the book’s chapters are engaging vintage song titles, but alas, they have little to no discernible connection to the story. Likewise the book cover art is intriguing but it also has no relation that I can perceive to the plot which is a jumble of some odd situations (lucky and unlucky) in which many sad, strange characters find themselves. Narration varies between first-person, third-person, and letters written by some of the characters which may be confusing to some readers. I can’t say the book is boring, but neither can I recommend it to friends.

e
EmilyEm
Oct 06, 2015

Beautiful talented Iris Acton looks for fame and fortune in 1940s Hollywood and New York City, taking plucky half-sister Eva Logan, the book's narrator, along for the adventure. Just like in Bloom’s earlier book 'Away,' it’s a wonderful journey with great supporting characters. Inventive writing.

m
mountaingirl16
Aug 13, 2015

This is a great read. The absence of sentimentality was refreshing and believable. The ending was sudden and didn't seem to suit the narrative. It could have ended with Eva's telegram to Iris.

c
coroboreefarm
Aug 05, 2015

Amy Bloom turns words and sentences into the most entertaining picaresque tales. Lucky Us is played out across a wide geographical stage, during the years 1939-1949, as two sisters, by different mothers, and their rapscallion father, scheme, fight and love their way across America in a stolen station wagon, looking for fame and fortune. Along the way, they meet a colourful and eccentric group of characters who share in and shape their lives.
Amy Bloom writes empathetically and powerfully about shared human emotion and connection. Although short in length, her quirky novels are brilliant and hypnotic, intense and funny, and well worth reading. This would make an excellent book club read.

t
Trinaneu
Jul 09, 2015

Well written but the story jumped around in time and from character to character. I found the ending a bit rushed, and a little unsatisfying.

vicbutterfly Feb 19, 2015

After being so impressed with 'Away', I found this book by the same author confusing, convoluted and disappointing though there were a few interesting scenarios.

m
misswindsor
Dec 25, 2014

This book has a super opening line and really good characters. Despite the fact that I didn't care for the switches between 1st and 3rd person, it was very well written. The author has a way with words.

k
kelliyfults
Oct 26, 2014

very much enjoyed the journeys of these wonderful, flawed characters... carving out 'good lives' from poor choices is a talent-

JCLGreggW Oct 01, 2014

Take a moment and read the first words of the novel: "my father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us." It's simple, precise, and beautifully sets up the novel, a coming-of-age story of two precocious half-sisters in 1940s Ohio - one older, talented, and beautiful, the younger one quieter and more observant. They travel from Ohio to Hollywood to New York City, trying to create a family for themselves by any means necessary, brashly reinventing themselves as they go. I enjoyed the characters - Bloom tells the story through the younger sister's eyes as well as letters from other characters - and also the immersive language and mid-century American setting, which will make this novel an instant book-club classic.

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Michael Colford Aug 10, 2014

Amy Bloom's coming-of-age tale set largely in the 40s and 50s tells the story of Eva, who was left by her mother at her father's new home after the funeral of his new wife, then ran away from him with her new older sister Iris so she could find stardom in Hollywood. For the first half of this entertaining and well constructed novel, Eva is a spectator in her own life; too young to really work, unable to go to traditional school, she watches the actions of those around her and learns of the struggle that life can be.

In her teens, a series of tragedies strike that leave her in challenging circumstances, trying to make her way in life with little help and others dependent on her. Yet Bloom maintains a light touch while exploring serious issues. Lucky Us is entertaining, beautifully written, and imaginative. I saw Bloom talk about this novel at Book Expo America and she was a terrific speaker, fun, funny, and fool of life. I recommend Amy Bloom and Lucky Us heartily.

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