Lucky Us

Lucky Us

A Novel

eBook - 2014
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE  * Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.

"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.

Praise for Lucky Us

" 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

"Exquisite . . . a short, vibrant book about all kinds of people creating all kinds of serial, improvisatory lives." -- The New York Times
 
"Bighearted, rambunctious . . . a bustling tale of American reinvention . . . If America has a Victor Hugo, it is Amy Bloom, whose picaresque novels roam the world, plumb the human heart and send characters into wild roulettes of kismet and calamity." -- The Washington Post
 
"Bloom's crisp, delicious prose gives [ Lucky Us ] the feel of sprawling, brawling life itself. . . . Lucky Us is a sister act, which means a double dose of sauce and naughtiness from the brilliant Amy Bloom." -- The Oregonian
 
"A tasty summer read that will leave you smiling . . . Broken hearts [are] held together by lipstick, wisecracks and the enduring love of sisters." -- USA Today
 
"Exquisitely imagined . . . [a] grand adventure." -- O: The Oprah Magazine
 
"Marvelous picaresque entertainment . . . a festival of joy and terror and lust and amazement that resolves itself here, warts and all, in a kind of crystalline Mozartean clarity of vision." -- Elle


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, 2014
ISBN: 9780812996005
Characteristics: text file,rda
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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ArapahoeAnnaL Mar 29, 2018

On the road in 1940's America.

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.

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-

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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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