• XX Chromosomes

Review of Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert

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About Loving Eleanor

When AP political reporter Lorena Hickok—Hick—is assigned to cover Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1932 campaign, the two women become deeply involved. Their relationship begins with mutual romantic passion, matures through stormy periods of enforced separation and competing interests, and warms into an enduring, encompassing friendship documented by 3300 letters.

Set during the chaotic years of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Second World War, Loving Eleanor reveals Eleanor Roosevelt as a complex, contradictory, and entirely human woman who is pulled in many directions by her obligations to her husband and family and her role as the nation’s First Lady. Hick is revealed as an accomplished journalist, who, at the pinnacle of her career, gives it all up for the woman she loves. Then, as Eleanor is transformed into Eleanor Everywhere, First Lady of the World, Hick must create her own independent, productive life. Loving Eleanor is a profoundly moving novel that illuminates a relationship we are seldom privileged to see, celebrating the depth and durability of women’s love.

My Review

Hick served as narrator. She was balanced and fair in describing both relationship and Eleanor.

More than a love story, a broad view of the turmoil the country was facing and challenges yet to come. Lorena Hickox a female pioneer in the field of journalism, accomplished and respected. She was responsible for encouraging and guiding Eleanor in pursuits endearing her to the public. Eleanor experienced the depths of hardships accompanying Hick while investigating for FERA, Eleanor witnessed firsthand the bowels of poverty propelling her to serve as advocate and savior for those suffering – loved the fact this was included in narrative showcasing both women’s intelligence and compassion.

“Later, I would imagine that night on the train as a metaphor for our relationship: two lonely people hurtling through the dark toward an unreachable destination, each clinging to the other as if they were the last survivors on a moon swept out of orbit by a force too powerful to be opposed.”

Albert does a wonderful job with historical facts, no doubt this was an extremely troubling time in history, with such vivid descriptions it’s truly emotional. You know from the beginning the tender romance is ruined, the two will forever be tethered but never be able to truly be joined, bittersweet.

“In another space of time, I would come to understand the many differences between wanting and loving and loving and needing.”

Loads of information at the end, extensive afterward and bibliography for further reading. Albert’s extensive research is noted, outstanding job.

Truly a touching story of two amazing, inspiring and admired women but also a poignant time in history.

About Susan Wittig Albert20828

Susan Wittig Albert is the award-winning, NYT bestselling author of the forthcoming historical novel Loving Eleanor (2016), about the intimate friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok; and A Wilder Rose(2014), about Rose Wilder Lane and the writing of the Little House books.

Her award-winning fiction also includes mysteries in the China Baylesseries, the Darling Dahlias, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries she has written with her husband, Bill Albert, under the pseudonym of Robin Paige.

She has written two memoirs: An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Daysand Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place, published by the University of Texas Press.

Her nonfiction titles include What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest (winner of the 2009 Willa Award for Creative Nonfiction); Writing from Life: Telling the Soul’s Story; and Work of Her Own: A Woman’s Guide to Success Off the Career Track.

She is founder and current president (2015-2017) of the Story Circle Network and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

For more information please visit www.susanalbert.com and www.LovingEleanor.com, or read her blog. You can also find Susan on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Like the Loving Eleanor page on Facebook.

Published February 1st 2016 by Persevero Press

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