- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (July 29, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400067243
- ISBN-13: 978-1400067244
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 555 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lucky Us: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 29, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2014: From its provocative opening paragraph--"My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us."--to its sweet tableau of an ending, Amy Bloom’s Lucky Us is a percussive novel about two sisters who go from Ohio to Hollywood and back trying both to find and lose themselves and each other. Iris has the disposition (if not the talent) of an actress, but early on she gets drummed out of Tinseltown for a particularly shocking (for the time) youthful indiscretion; Eva is her younger, more dour sister/observer. Through short vignettes of and letters from the Acton sisters as well as a growing cast of tragicomic characters, we get a jazzy novel about the WWII era. Bloom is particularly good at recreating the idioms of the time--in her acknowledgements, she thanks her cousin, the writer/scholar Harold Bloom for teaching her “to find a better way to put almost anything.”--and both her style and her story have a subversive, iconoclastic quality. This is not a very long novel, but with its expansive understanding of human nature and of history, it covers a lot of ground. --Sara Nelson
*Starred Review* Eva, age 12, knows her father as a sweet man who visits on Sundays, until her mother announces that his wife has died and they’ll be paying him a visit. And so Eva arrives at a home she’s never seen to live with her father and older half sister, Iris, whom she didn’t know existed. Talented, self-involved Iris is a doggedly hopeful performer, winning every local and regional competition in their small midwestern college town before graduating high school and escaping to Hollywood with the embarrassing but brainy and reliable Eva in tow. There is a gossip-column scandal and a cross-country road trip, an abducted orphan and an accused spy, and more than a couple of masquerades, but everything here is fresh; Bloom’s cannonballs read like placid ripples. Told partially from Eva’s perspective, and with epistolary interludes over the novel’s 1939–49 span, Eva’s world is one of endless opportunities for reinvention—and redemption—if one only takes them. With a spare and trusting style, Bloom invites readers to fill the spaces her pretty prose allows, with true and beautiful results. High-Demand Backstory: An extensive marketing campaign and author tour will accompany review attention, to the benefit of fans of Bloom’s best-selling historical novel Away (2007). --Annie Bostrom
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The term lucky in the title seemed ironic for much of the novel, as the heroines mostly struggle with little reward. To call Iris a B-actress would be generous. And Eva spends much of her teen years reading Tarot cards for desperate women in a beauty parlor. But Eva is considered the intelligent one and things begin to pan out for her. Iris isn't quite as lucky. The pleasure of Lucky Us is that the title isn't ironic; it's hopeful. The family that the characters create doesn't care about the sexual preference, skin color or failures of anyone. The beautiful tableau at the end make up for a brief stretch of tedium in the novel's middle and make it all worth the effort. There's a lot of love in this story.
The title of the book is ironic, but it turns out to be truer than one would imagine. "Luck," Amy Bloom says, "depends on how you look at the world. Iris and Eva are more or less lucky.
I didn't like the book. I couldn't relate to any of the characters' they were all self-serving, and the ending fell flat.
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