Monday, September 8, 2014

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

"My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us."

From these opening lines, Amy Bloom sucked me right into Lucky Us, a novel about unconventional families. Stepsisters Iris and Eva are 16 and 12 when they first meet in 1939. Iris lives in a fancy mansion, while Eva and her mother have been barely scraping by. Eva's mother abandons her at her father's house.

"I was thirteen before I realized my mother wasn't coming back to get me."

Their father is a fickle man, so the sisters forge a life together. In Hollywood, Iris gets swept up in a racy, but very closeted, lesbian crowd. Later, they move to New York City, where Iris once again falls for a woman who will break her heart.

Sweet, loyal and resourceful, Eva is the most endearing character. Through good luck and bad, she is the steadfast heart of a family that grows over a period of ten years to include a motley, lovable crew.

I listened to the audiobook [Books on Tape: 7 hr. 18 min.] narrated with warmth and expert comedic timing by voice actress Alicyn Packard.

Readalike: Tell the Wolves I'm Home (Carol Rifka Brunt).


alexis said...

You had me at Tell the Wolves I'm home. I learned about it through you and it was one of my favourite books. I recommended it to so many people that someone remarked that I should get royalties. :)

Lindy said...

I hope you enjoy Lucky Us. Reading experiences are subjective, as you know. The similarities between Lucky Us and Tell the Wolves I'm Home have to do with distinctive voice in a young female narrator, a strong sense of each book's respective time period, queer content, and the love and loyalty in building alternative family relationships.