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Lucky Us by Amy Bloom
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Lucky Us (2014)

by Amy Bloom

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have had this one on my shelf for awhile so I'm really glad to be able to get to it. A story set in the World War II era, Iris and Eva are half-sisters who embark on a journey that doesn't quite live up their dreams, but they make it work. It's hard to write a synopsis without giving away spoilers so I'll leave it at that. I loved the writing of this. By swapping between Eva's narrative and letters written to her from the people around her, the story felt more evenly told since you get more points of view. I have read other reviews of the 'likeability' of Iris and Eva. This tends mostly to come up when there are female protagonist and people act like the author wants you to always be friends or lovers with them. I never once worried if I liked the characters. I just kept wondering what shenanigans they would partake in(I do however, like a good shenanigan). So Bloom did her job for me. I was engaged. I wanted to see what would happen next. I was interested in these people's relationships. How did they interact with one another? How did they resolve the decisions they made to themselves? Lucky Us isn't a perfect book. I felt a little off with the pacing, but that could have been me. However, it's very well written with lovely language and interesting characters.

*I received this ARC from Library Thing as a part of their Early Reviewers program.
  hedonistchild | Aug 17, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It took me a while to work through this story. Overall, the idea behind the story is great, but the characters themselves are unlikeable, so I had a hard time engaging in the plot. I think that Bloom has a great talent for description and I do like her use of the letters spotted throughout to give the book some texture. ( )
  kerinlo | Aug 11, 2014 |
When Eva's mother drops her off at her father's doorstep, she meets her half sister, Iris. Immediately, Eva becomes Iris' sidekick and the two strike out to Hollywood. Iris lands a few movie rolls before she is blacklisted for a romantic relationship with a female star. Their father shows up in Hollywood, and together with a close male friend, the four move across the country to New York.

I thought this book came across as very unrealistic. The characters were more caricatures than real people. At times, it seemed as if the author didn't know how to move the story forward, so she would throw in a letter giving away most of the plot. Overall, a bust. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Aug 8, 2014 |
Well, what are my thoughts on this one? I have not read any of the other Amy Bloom books, so I can’t compare it to her others. I thought that the first line of the story was great. It was a real hook. I don’t feel that this one quite held up to my expectations. I thought that it was okay, just okay.

In this one we have a diverse cast of unusual characters. They seem to be an unlikely group that is thrown together and function as a family unit. It’s possible that this could have happened, but not probable. It didn’t work for me. This down on your luck group manages to stay just this side of the law several times. They steal a boy from an orphanage and call him their own. Eva has Francisco fake college transcripts so she can get into medical school. Maybe these things did occur back in the day, I don’t know.

Warning this next statement gives the end of the book away, so you might want to skip it. Gus who the girls turn into the authorities as a spy in the end winds up with Eva in a romantic relationship. Hello!! I guess she doesn’t want to tell him how they got him out of the picture so that Iris could have his wife as a paramour. These girls ruined his life messing around!!!

I think that this was all a little too unbelievable for me. I didn’t really feel a connection with any of the characters either. The historical elements in the book were interesting though. I give this book a 3 out of 5 stars. ( )
  Pattymclpn | Aug 5, 2014 |
Interview/Profile with Amy Bloom in Kirkus, August 1, 2014
"Some people bounced back from a train wreck and some people couldn't get over a bee sting."
  JennyArch | Aug 1, 2014 |
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My father's wife died.
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It's good to be smart, it's better to be lucky.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Teenage half sisters Eva and Iris are disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star, and Eva, the sidekick, journey across 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris's ambitions take the sisters from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island.… (more)

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