"My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us."
So begins this remarkable novel by Amy Bloom, whose critically acclaimed Away was called "a literary triumph" (The New York Times). Lucky Us is a brilliantly written, deeply moving, fantastically funny novel of love, heartbreak, and luck.
Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star and Eva the sidekick, journey through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris’s ambitions take the pair across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, and to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island.
With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine though 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, conventional and otherwise. 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.
©2014 Amy Bloom (P)2014 Random House Audio
"Lucky Us indeed - another Amy Bloom book. And, if it’s possible, even more powerful and affecting than her last novel, Away. This is a poignant book that manages to be funny, an unflinching portrait that manages to be tender, a tough story that manages to also have jazz and grace. Bloom is a great writer who keeps stepping into new territory, entirely unafraid. She is one of America’s unique and most gifted literary voices." (Colum McCann)
"Lucky Us is a remarkable accomplishment. One waits a long time for a novel of this scope and dimension, replete with surgically drawn characters, a mix of comedy and tragedy that borders on the miraculous, and sentences that should be in a sentence museum. Amy Bloom is a treasure." (Michael Cunningham)
The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.
I think I'll stick with my first assessment: Fascinatingly Weird. Or the Strange Plot Twist Road to the Rainbow at the End of the Road to Perdition.
Every time you think you have the story figured out, you get slammed with a Plot Twist from out of nowhere. Any less of a writer couldn't have dished it up and served it so well. Who won't like it? Practical readers without fortitude or patience, or maybe just with much bettet sense than me, or maybe with less of a sense of humor. I'm not even really sure why I liked it, other than that I love the ability to look (through great writing) at a wide variant of American life in the forties. I love how the tone is so light and matter of fact despite all the heavy subjects. And I truly deeply wanted things to work out for little Evie in the end. She is special and steadfast in her own way, so the only comparison I have is that she gives us a look at life and love and death in the 40s via a sort of Forrestina Gump voice who does Strange Childhood, Peas and Carrots Half Sister, Hollywood, and Jersey, with Jazz, Jewish, and Germanic undertones.
Warning: Probably not for the Super Southern Conservative? But hey, if you read Fifty Shades- and based on sales numbers I think everyone in the world did- then I don't really see the difference. Just take it with a grain of salt.
The sisters relationship was the strongest part of the book.
I'm trying to actually read this book now to see if the performance might have added to what turned me off about this book.
The section on Danny when Eva was telling him his life story. The reader already knew his life story so why retell it in babyish language --and using the adjective "amazing" a million times? Why tell about his experiences in school since the character really led nowhere other than being a prop for the Eva character.
The characters weren't fleshed out enough. Why did they do what they did? Why was Eva a slave to everyone around her? Why did Eva and Iris have a falling out? Why did Francisco leave Hollywood? Why did Clare get involved with Edgar and then lose interest the minute he got sick?
This was an enjoyable listen. It was not one of the best I've ever listened to but also not the worst. This is what, as a librarian, I call a gentle read. Yes, there was some sadness but nothing tragic, jarring or detrimental to the overall story. Nice progression of the story with a happy ending.
Bloom used the similar technique of introducing a character, using them for a while in the story & then giving us their life's story & final ending in a quick look forward. She creates the characters with a full life story but can't seem to fit their whole narrative into the novel so she hurriedly "wraps them up" in a quick couple of paragraphs. It makes it look like her editor tells her to cut down the book because it is too long.
It would probably be Gus. He led a very interesting life. Despite all the hardships & injustices he carried on and came out fairly well adjusted.
People with a liberal point of view.
no, this one did not keep me interested and it seemed to ramble on
it took place over time in history, which was interesting at times
I hadn't listened to any new fiction on audible (sticking to non fiction and books I had already read) until I got this one on vacation and I found it very engaging, good story,and it really sold me on the audiobook for new fiction idea. I recommend this book!
Fransisco....I really was interested him and wished I had more of him!
She reads well and doesn't get goofy with the voices, but does emphasize the differences.
I have no idea! LOL
Since taking my first creative writing class in 2008 the pleasure I used to get from reading has been greatly reduced. I notice things I never noticed before. That said, I think I rate books pretty generously. Anyone who actually manages to write a whole book and then get it published deserves an extra star.
I didn't buy the story. I wasn't crazy about the characters. I didn't like the way letters between the two sisters were used as a vehicle to reveal details about the story. I thought they were badly written. And I didn't like the "surprise" towards the end, that the father was Jewish. It was totally unimportant to the narrative.
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