I’ve got so many deal-breakers when it comes to historical fiction that I sound like a pain. You can read about them here. Or you can simply ignore my carry-on and know that I really enjoyed Amy Bloom’s White Houses.
The story is told from the perspective of Lorena Hickok, known as ‘Hick’. Hick grew up in poverty in South Dakota, suffered abuse at the hand of her father, and was sent to work at a young age. Resourceful and tenacious, she soon carved a career as a journalist. When she met Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 (while covering Franklin’s first presidential campaign trail), a friendship developed, which soon turned to love.
Hick took a job in the Roosevelt administration and moved into the White House, where her status as ‘first friend’ was an open secret, as were Franklin’s own lovers.
Missy and Franklin put a smile on reporters’ faces. Eleanor and I were no one’s favourite secret. I tended to scowl.Continue reading →
Sometimes a very, very short book is just the ticket – reading slump, testing a new genre, choosing something for your book group (because you know they don’t have the stamina for anything over 200 pages), a long train ride…
A ‘classic’ was defined by Italian author Italo Calvino as “…a book that’s never finished saying what it has to say.”
Now, I’m not claiming that the books I truly loved this year are ‘classics’, however, I’m borrowing Calvino’s definition to guide my list of top picks for 2016. This year, I’m paying less attention to five-star ratings and more attention to the books that are still speaking to me. Continue reading →