Lucky Us, Amy Bloom
Published July 29th 2014 by Random House
Hardcover, 256 pages
When Eva’s mother abandons her on her half-sister Iris’s front porch, the girls don’t seem to have much in common—except, they soon discover, a father. Thrown together with no mothers to care for them and a father who could not be considered a parent, Eva and Iris become one another’s family. Iris wants to be a movie star; Eva is her sidekick. From scandal in Hollywood to the carriage house of a wealthy Long Island family, the sisters look out for each other through good and bad, until unexpected events send Iris to London, leaving Eva with a responsibility she could never have imagined.
Full of colorful characters and irresistible settings—a lavish, sensual Hollywood party; an unforgettable cross-country road trip; a Brooklyn beauty parlor where Eva reads Tarot cards; high and low life in Great Neck, Long Island—Lucky Us is a stunningly imagined novel about the longing to connect with others over self, the quest for a mother, and the meaning of family, in 1930s-50s America.
This book begins:
“My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.”
This certainly sets you up for book about a different kind of family. Eva’s father is in her life only on weekends until his wife passes away. Eva’s mother abandons her on her father’s porch after his wife’s death– just as Eva meets her older half sister Iris for the first time. Iris and Eva eventually sneak off to Hollywood while Eva should be in high school; and soon end up driving back across the country building their own family of misfits. This seemed like the kind of book I should have loved, but something never just clicked quite right for me. I did not feel any connections with the characters, perhaps because to me most the relationships between them felt hollow. I liked some of the characters individually, but as a whole I just didn’t love the flow in Lucky Us. Nothing felt really genuine to me, maybe because these were a group of con-artists basically and it felt like it was all a con?
Something about the love affair in the end just was just wrong to me -was it just me that found this just a bit icky?
I don’t mind a May-December romance, but Gus pining after Eva when she was a young teen when he had last seen her just didn’t work for me. Also-that was the fastest romance ever. No thank you. This was a shame for me because Gus was nearly my favorite character. What a story he had!
I have enjoyed Amy Bloom’s other books and I will definitely try her work again, this just wasn’t the book for me.
Thank you Random House and edelweiss for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
All quotes were taken from an uncorrected galley proof subject to change in the final edition