A NoveleBook - 2014
"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.
From the critics
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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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