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Lucky Us by Amy Bloom
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Lucky Us (2014)

by Amy Bloom

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2635643,310 (3.3)34

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was not a book I could connect with. I found no appeal in any of the characters so therefore their stories did not interest me. I kept reading in hopes of finding that special something I was looking for, but it never showed up. I did like the places the novel took me to, especially the beauty parlor and the tarot readings and the internment camps Gus was sent to. I guess if those are the highights of a book, then perhaps it was not a book for me. I am not sure of what customer I would recommend this book to and that does not happen often. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Oct 26, 2014 |
A collection of vignettes that finally comes together. ( )
  Doondeck | Oct 24, 2014 |
A novel about two half-sisters, the glamorous Iris and the bookish Eva, and their complicated and often very unlucky lives in the 1940s and beyond.

I have very mixed feelings about this one. On an intellectual level, it's doing a lot of things I like. I like the diverse cast of characters and their unusual points of view, and I like the way Bloom peels back the layers of those characters, slowly revealing various interesting and disturbing things about them. But the problem is, pretty much all my appreciation was on an intellectual level. The characters never really came alive for me, and whatever weird or tragic things might happen to them, it never really affected me emotionally. Something about the writing just kept me constantly at one remove from it all. ( )
  bragan | Oct 11, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I admit to being an ardent fan of Amy Bloom's novels, her unique writing style and prose, her memorable characters, and her ability to transport me to another era in history. Lucky Us did not disappoint me, and I felt a particular connection with several characters and plot twists, likely because of my genealogy research and the stories I listened to as a child. I could almost know parts of these characters, and how history and luck shaped their lives, and how strange family and love can be.

The story is told from a variety of perspectives, including letters, and I couldn't help but be reminded a bit of reading 84 Charring Cross Road, and how this heartbreaking, yet funny and surprising story was reminiscent of John Irving or Kurt Vonnegut for me. But Amy Bloom is unique and every time I read her novels, I remind myself that she is a poet, and can paint vivid pictures with a minimum of words.

As always, I wished the story were longer, I wanted to know more about everything and everyone. But the author left me with a beautiful description of a snapshot that lets me fill in most of the blanks with my imagination. I've gone back to reread the last chapter several times and I can almost picture the scene and I know that the more of this story and these characters is simply love and family, in all its permutations.

I highly recommend this book, for Amy Bloom fans and for those unfamiliar with her work. It is a book that will resonate for a very long time. ( )
  readaholic12 | Oct 8, 2014 |
The compelling, sometimes frustrating story of Eva and her half-sister Iris growing into adulthood in the 1940's. Abandoned by her mother, teenager Eva struggles to form a new family with her unreliable father and half-sister, Iris. When Iris is determined to become a movie star, Eva follows along, and when their fortunes change she accompanies Iris to New York. While Iris focuses on her dreams, sometimes selfishly, Eva remains the steadfast caretaker, quietly holding together the family they've managed to form. The characters and some of their actions aren't always likable or acceptable, but ultimately the story is about finding and keeping family, no matter what the circumstances.

Note: this review is based on an ARC received from the publisher ( )
  astraplain | Oct 4, 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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