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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Love Affair That Impacted History!
This is the fictional account of a very real love affair, told by "the other woman." The relationship, by itself was not an uncommon one, although the characters could have been created by Edith Wharton. They are east coast, upper-class, elite; patricians to-the-manor-born. It is really not an epic love story like that of Josephine and Napoleon, or Cleopatra and...
Published on June 8, 2003 by Jana L. Perskie

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sparked My Interest, but Lacking as Well...
Although the subject matter and the time period in US history is fascinating, I found the book dissapointing. It seemed like a lot of fluff and not enough facts, but perhaps I am comparing this with a true work of non-fiction. And it isn't fair to compare a work of fiction based on fact the same as a true biography. I have read alot about FDR, yet in this book I was...
Published on September 21, 2005 by Mark from Freehold


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Love Affair That Impacted History!, June 8, 2003
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This review is from: Lucy: A Novel (Hardcover)
This is the fictional account of a very real love affair, told by "the other woman." The relationship, by itself was not an uncommon one, although the characters could have been created by Edith Wharton. They are east coast, upper-class, elite; patricians to-the-manor-born. It is really not an epic love story like that of Josephine and Napoleon, or Cleopatra and Antony, or even the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Fortunately, for history's sake, no one gave up a throne...or the presidency for this love. The three people who comprise the love triangle, however, are of epic proportion - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer. And each of these people, as individuals, and in their relationship to one another, had a major role to play in the course of world events, from the time that Lucy met Franklin and Eleanor, just before World War I, through the Great Depression, until the end of Franklin's life, right before the end of World War II.
While reading this novel, I initially thought it to be short on substance - more than fluff, but lacking in weight - perhaps it needed more historical detail. But after reading the book, I was left with a feeling of deep sadness at the poignancy of the love that existed between Lucy and Franklin, and between Eleanor and Franklin. Ellen Feldman has given us Lucy's voice, a woman's voice from a time long ago, (for some reason I remember Lily Bart from Edith Wharton's "House of Mirth"). And that voice tells us the history of a love which is the center of her life - so that the history of the world becomes peripheral. And that one historical viewpoint becomes unique and compelling.
I admire Ms. Feldmans work tremendously. I also admire her courage in writing a historical novel of merit about such famous, public figures. So much has been written about them already - yet few have touched on this subject. Ms. Feldman writes beautifully, with a quiet passion and a certain delicacy. Her characters are well drawn and true.
There is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt at the end of the book that moved me very much. She says, "[If you] cannot meet the need of someone whom [you] dearly love...you must learn to allow someone else to meet the need, without bitterness or envy, and accept it."
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing love story, May 23, 2003
By 
Victor Rodriguez (Bronx, New York United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lucy: A Novel (Hardcover)
I've been an avid reader of historical novels for the past forty years, and consider Ellen Feldman's Lucy one of the best. It is an informative, entertaining and richly detailed depiction of the love affair that Franklin D. Roosevelt had with Eleanor's social secretary Lucy Mercer. It is also a vivid and accurate account of that crucial period in world history between both world wars, and WWII itself. It takes courage for a novelist to write a book narrated by a historical figure, and Feldman does so with masterful restraint, thus creating a realistic and convincing portrait. Lucy comes across as a sensitive and caring woman willing to make any sacrifice for the man she loves, a man who returns her love, and realizes in the end that had Franklin left his wife for her the scandal would have ruined him, and history as we know it would be another story. FDR himself emerges as the giant he was, but susceptible to the passions that also made him human. And Eleanor bears it all with the type of stoical pride, dignity, and wit that made her the great woman she was. I once shook her hand, and still feel her warmth in my palm. It's an important story unknown to many. It's great to know, and recall, that in those pre-paparazzi, pre-TV, pre-tabloid bilge, pre-Ken Star, pre-base politician days people still respected the office of the presidency and didn't stoop to any low level just to make a few bucks, ruin a career, and embarrass a nation. Overall, this is a wonderful novel by the underrated Ms. Feldman. One can only hope she continues to write such fine narratives.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction at its best, January 8, 2004
By 
C. Ellen Connally (Cleveland, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lucy (Paperback)
I have always been intrigued with the story of the romanance between FDR and Lucy Mercer. When I ran across this book at a local book store I bought it immediately and moved it ahead of other things that I planned to read. The story is romantic and touching. It gives a different view of Frankling and Eleanor and it shows how history could have so easily have been changed. For those interested in FDR and Eleanor its an interesting read. For those who are romantics at heart, its a warm and beautiful story about love and its lasting endurance.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Presidents Forbidden Love..., August 13, 2006
This review is from: Lucy (Paperback)
This was a really good read. A historical fiction novel based on fact. I had no idea that Franklin D. Roosevelt had an affair, but the way Ms. Feldman tells it, it's not trashy or disgraceful. Franklin and Lucy Mercer are two people who truly loved each other, but given the time period, just could not be together.

Lucy Mercer met Franklin when she became his wife Eleanore's personal secretary in 1914. At this time Franklin was Assistant Secretary of the Navy, years away from the presidency. The two didn't begin their love affair until 1916, and it lasted for two years. But in 1918, upon returning from an overseas trip to see how WWI soldiers were faring, Eleanor was unpacking Franklin's bag when she discovered a stack of love letters from Lucy, tied together with a velvet ribbon.

Eleanor offered Franklin his freedom by getting a divorce (which was almost unheard of in 1918) so he could marry Lucy. He was planning to do just that, but his personal advisers got to him, and let him know that if he married Lucy Mercer, his shot for the presidency was gone. Divorce had never been in the white house, and the country certainly wouldn't elect a man who abandoned his wife and 5 children for his mistress.

In the end, his dream of becoming President won out, and Lucy and Franklin didn't see each other for over 20 years. But in 1940 they reconnected, and in 1941, Lucy (who's husband had suffered a stroke, and was confined to a wheelchair) began seeing the President under the false Secret Service name of Ms. Johnson. Lucy continued to see Franklin every opportunity she could until his death in April, 1945 at Warm Springs, which she was there for.

Ms. Feldman has done a fantastic job of portraying the love these two shared, while also showing the strength and unbreakable spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt. I absolutely recommend this book. If you know nothing of this beautiful love story then definitely pick this up. One things for sure though, I'll never look at President Franklin D. Roosevelt the same way again!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You are THERE...inside the characters and the times, February 23, 2003
This review is from: Lucy: A Novel (Hardcover)
Written in the first person of Lucy, the book instantly immerses you into the styles, the tastes, the emotion of the historic triangle. No moral judgements are made, only the depiction and constancy to the voice of each of the characters. The prose reads like silk, the pace gallops, and the story unfolds as if for the first time. To read and re-read.
Marion Liniado
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An era when the media did not probe into personal lives of Presidents, September 29, 2005
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This review is from: Lucy (Paperback)
This book was well researched. By adding to the bones of historical facts, Ellen Feldman fleshed out the story to convert it into a novel. It helps to understand the whole background of these fascinating principals. Perhaps it was because I had just revisited FDR's Hyde Park Home and library this past spring,that this book had such deep resonance. In this era when the media knows everything and tells everything about the president, this relationship would never have come to fruition. Across the backdrop of the World Wars, Lucy gives a love story which is never smarmy. She does not whine,or complain, but frankly states, how her relationship with Franklin endured over the years,against a turbulent time in our history. Owing to her support, she gave Franklin strength which he never could tap into through his marriage to Eleanor. As no one could ever know what transpired during her visits with Franklin in the White House and at Warm Springs.........Ms. Feldman's background as an historian lends credibility to what really may have been. I didn't want to finish the book, as I knew how it would end.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, insightful novel, March 30, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Lucy: A Novel (Hardcover)
This book was wonderful. It kept my attention throughtout the story and made you wish for more. It made FDR seem like a real person with real feelings. I also become curious about Eleanor and am now reading a biography about her. This is wonderful!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lucy - A Great Read!, March 10, 2006
By 
Nicole (Centreville, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lucy (Paperback)
I really enjoyed "Lucy", a novel about the romance between FDR and his secretary Lucy. It is strongly based on historical fact without feeling overbearingly scholarly. It gave me a strong sense of the people behind the facts.

I admired how well the author captured the romance while also strongly respecting Elenanor, FDR's wife.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone even familiar with FDR and who wants to delve behind the scenes of history.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sparked My Interest, but Lacking as Well..., September 21, 2005
By 
Mark from Freehold (Freehold, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lucy: A Novel (Hardcover)
Although the subject matter and the time period in US history is fascinating, I found the book dissapointing. It seemed like a lot of fluff and not enough facts, but perhaps I am comparing this with a true work of non-fiction. And it isn't fair to compare a work of fiction based on fact the same as a true biography. I have read alot about FDR, yet in this book I was never sure if the events really happened as the author portrayed, or if they happened at all. A lot of breadth is given a writer of historical fiction, but I still yearned for the real facts. "Hey, where are the footnoted sources???", that sort of a thing. If historical accuracy and true facts and details are not important, than this might be a good read for you. It was light and easy. I could not help but wonder each chapter, "Did they really meet for a drive in the country??? Was Lucy really that innocent???" Since the book is told in the voice of Lucy, I couldn't help but wonder what was going through Eleanor's mind at the same time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, insightful novel, March 30, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Lucy: A Novel (Hardcover)
This book was wonderful. It kept my attention throughtout the story and made you wish for more. It made FDR seem like a real person with real feelings. I also become curious about Eleanor and am now reading a biography about her. This is wonderful!
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Lucy
Lucy by Ellen Feldman (Paperback - January 17, 2004)
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