White Houses

Amy Bloom

Published: 7 March 2019
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 224 pages
ISBN: 9781783781744

Other Editions


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Published: 3 May 2018
Hardback, Demy PB
135x216mm, 224 pages
ISBN: 9781783784929

Ebook Available

About the author

Image of Amy Bloom

Amy Bloom is the author of three collections of short stories, Where the God of Love Hangs Out (Granta, 2010), Come to Me and A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, also published in one volume Rowing to Eden(Granta, 2015), a collection of essays, Normal, and three novels, Lucky Us (Granta, 2014), Away (Granta, 2007),and Love Invents Us. She is the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University. More about the author


White Houses demonstrates that real people are far more fascinating than icons. But in the hands of a master storyteller, the combination is dazzlingLionel Shriver



A refreshingly open tale of love in later lifeSummer Books of 2018

A tender, heart-warming exploration of a hidden but profound love...[Bloom] takes the historical moment and opens it up, prising it apart to let in the light’ Sean Hewitt

Amy Bloom is descriptively dazzling, her dialogue perfectly pitched and her finger on the pulse of what it is to be human and unmasked, to be knowingly flawed and to seize intimacy (mostly) without giving a damn for the danger’ Madeleine Kingsley

Breathtakingly intimate... If White Houses isn't an example of the great American novel then frankly, I don't know what is ... heartening and refreshing

Irresistibly readable, fascinating material - Amy Bloom has written a remarkably intimate and yet informative 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

‘A candid and intensely realized celebration of love’

‘A spare meditation on heartbreak’ Claire Lowdun

‘A story that seems to have been invented for Amy Bloom to write: hidden love, the vagaries of public life, and enduring passion. Her finest novel to dateCaryl Phillips

‘Amy Bloom illuminates one of the most intriguing relationships in history with her graceful prose and sensitive portrayals in White Houses. Her Lorena Hickok is entirely sympathetic and often quite funny, yet ultimately she 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, every scene so that by the time you reach the end, you are simply stunned by the beauty of the world these two carved our for themselves’ Melanie Benjamin

‘From its brief opening sentence to its gloriously poetic, heart-wrenching final paragraph, this is an extraordinarily accomplished piece of fiction. Bring on all the prizes’

‘Hick is a compelling narrator ... White Houses reflects on what it means to at least try to take up the responsibilities politicians are given’ Jane Smiley

‘It seems a minor miracle, what Amy Bloom has done in White Houses. In Lorena Hickok's unforgettable voice, she brings an untold slice of history so dazzlingly and devastatingly to life, it took my breath away. Easily, the most intimate, crackling and expansive rendering of Eleanor Roosevelt in print, and more than this, a dizzyingly beautiful tale of what it means to be human, and what it is to love. This is a book I won't forget’ Paula McLain

‘This historical novel tells the story of Lorena Hickok - the first female journalist to get a byline on the cover of The New York Times - and her friendship and alleged love affair with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’ Martina Bausells

‘This reimagining of their relationship, told from Hick's perspective, swirls us back and forth in time. In the heat of their first passion, Hick lives at the White House. Then time, responsibilities, unreasonable dreams and widowhood intervene; the affair cools to friendship. Hick's love for Eleanor is at the heart of the story - but more often minor characters, such as FDR's discarded mistress, leave a deeper impression’

‘What a novel. If Brazilian football is a joy to watch and Steely Dan are a joy to listen to, then Amy Bloom is a joy to read’ Roddy Doyle

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