Archives for 2018

White Houses

White HousesWhite Houses by Amy Bloom
Published by Random House on February 13th 2018
Pages: 240
Format: ebook
Genres: Fiction, Historical
See it @ Goodreads
three-stars


Synopsis


The unexpected and forbidden affair between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok unfolds in a triumph of historical fiction from the New York Times bestselling author of Away and Lucky Us.

"I never envied a wife or a husband, until I met Eleanor. Then, I would have traded everything I ever had, every limo ride, every skinny dip, every byline and carefree stroll, for what Franklin had, polio and all."

Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt's first presidential campaign. Having grown up worse than poor in South Dakota and reinvented herself as the most prominent woman reporter in America, "Hick," as she's known to her friends and admirers, is not quite instantly charmed by the idealistic, patrician Eleanor. But then, as her connection with the future first lady deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into a lasting love, and a life that Hick never expected to have. She moves into the White House, where her status as "first friend" is an open secret, as are FDR's own lovers. After she takes a job in the Roosevelt administration, promoting and protecting both Roosevelts, she comes to know Franklin not only as a great president but as a complicated rival and an irresistible friend, capable of changing lives even after his death. Through it all, even as Hick's bond with Eleanor is tested by forces both extraordinary and common, and as she grows as a woman and a writer, she never loses sight of the love of her life.

From Washington, D.C. to Hyde Park, from a little white house on Long Island to an apartment on Manhattan's Washington Square, Amy Bloom's new novel moves elegantly through fascinating places and times, written in compelling prose and with emotional depth, wit, and acuity.

"Amy Bloom knows the urgency of love," wrote The Washington Post about Bloom's acclaimed bestseller Away. The same could be said of White Houses, an unforgettable novel about the power of passion and the endurance of love.

Advance praise for White Houses

"Amy Bloom illuminates one of the most intriguing relationships in history. Lorena Hickok is a woman who found love with another lost soul, Eleanor Roosevelt. And love is what this book is all about: It suffuses every page, so that by the time you reach the end, you are simply stunned by the beauty of the world these two carved out for themselves."--Melanie Benjamin, author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue

"It seems a minor miracle, what Amy Bloom has done in White Houses. In Lorena Hickok's unforgettable voice, she brings an untold slice of history so dazzlingly and devastatingly to life, it took my breath away. Easily, the most intimate, crackling, and expansive rendering of Eleanor Roosevelt in print, and, more than this, a dizzyingly beautiful tale of what it means to be human, and what it is to love."--Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

My thoughts on this book

White Houses Is the story of the romance between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. Both women in their own way had very sad lives. Eleanor because she lived in the shadow of FDR and Hickok because of her brutal early life.

While the romance was scandalous it was by no means extraordinary. Bloom characterizations of Eleanor and Lorena are lovely, they were devoted to each other.

Amy Bloom is a wonderful writer, she has written a thought-provoking book about two lost souls that find a bit of happiness with another.

Nightblind

NightblindNightblind by Ragnar Jónasson
Series: Dark Iceland #2
Published by Minotaur Books on December 5th 2017
Pages: 304
Format: hardback
Genres: Mystery, Scandinavian and Nordic Mysteries & Thrillers
See it @ Goodreads
four-stars


Synopsis


Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman, whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers in an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland—where no one locks their doors—continue to haunt him.

The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by the murder of a policeman—shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark arctic winter closing in, it falls to Ari Thór to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor, and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik where someone is being held against their will. Then a mysterious young woman moves to the area, on the run from something she dares not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all. Chilling, and complex, Nightblind is an extraordinary thriller from an undeniable new talent.

My thoughts on this book

Night Blind is the second book in the Dark Iceland series. Five years ago, Ari Thor Aragon, a young policeman moved to a small town on the outer fringes of Northern Iceland, Siglufjordur. Ari is still developing a tolerable relationship with the villagers of the small town.

When the new police chief is shot and killed, Ari Thor sets out to figure out who murdered the chief. To assist in the investigation the former chief of police, Tomas, returns to Siglufjordur, together Ari Thor and Tomas begin to unravel the mystery of who murdered Hefjolfur.

Ari Thor and his girlfriend, Kristin, have a ten-month-old son and are having difficulties in their relationship stemming from some unresolved issues in Ari Thor’s past additionally Ari Thor is resentful that he was not made police chief when Tomas moved south and is now coping with Tomas taking over the investigation.

Things are not as they seem and despite the outside distractions that life has placed in front of Ari Thor he is able to puzzle out the mystery.

I enjoyed the book, if you are interested in Nordic Noir this is a fine book for you.