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Lucky Us

3.22  ·  Rating Details ·  12,773 Ratings  ·  1,843 Reviews
"My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us."

Brilliantly written, deeply moving, fantastically funny, Lucky Us introduces us to Eva and Iris. Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star, and Eva, the sidekick, journey across 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris's ambitions take them fro
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 29th 2014 by Random House (first published 2014)
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Karen I'm listening to the audio and I thought maybe I'd zoned out and missed the reason he left CA. Glad everyone else is as mystified as I am. This is a…moreI'm listening to the audio and I thought maybe I'd zoned out and missed the reason he left CA. Glad everyone else is as mystified as I am. This is a hard book to follow on audio - jumps all over and I find the writing uneven.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 23, 2014 Valerie rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-read

I won Lucky Us for free in a GoodReads giveaway. I received a huge trade paperback with a smartly designed jacket and a beautifully illustrated cover and 238 pages of tightly-packed serifed font.

Much has been made in reviews and in praise of the book's opening lines: "My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us." And they certainly ring with the deliverance of great literary promise. These first sentences of the book are even on the
Alisha Marie
I thought that Lucky Us started out really intriguing. I love historical fiction and I love books about sister relationships, so I had assumed that I would love this one. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. In fact, I didn't even really like it all that much.

My main issue with Lucky Us was that it seemed somewhat rushed. Rather than have a full-fledged story with a plot, it seems as though this book was just snapshots of a life lived as opposed to a story about a life lived. Now, normally I don't
"Family isn't always blood. It's the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are; the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what." - author unknown.

This is the expression I was thinking of when I read this book. And after reading it, I had to let it simmer for a while. Yes, it is one of those books!

Lucky Us is so multidimensional that it will take a while to think it over. There's the moral dilemmas versus the unscripted
If I want to learn how to turn a phrase, and fill my life with words and sentences that will make your world spin, I shall to turn to Amy Bloom. If I want to fill my world with characters like Iris and Eva, who may not be the most likeable characters on the block, and yet still get you to continue reading, continue your evaluation of a novel all the way to the end, I shall turn to Amy Bloom. If I want to find a historical novel during the period of the Holocaust, where the world was filled with ...more
Apr 27, 2014 Dianna rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway-winner
This novel looked very promising, highlighting the lives of half-sisters, Eva and Iris, with the backdrop of 1940’s America.

It had started out interesting and I was hoping for more, but it became a mishmash of odd situations. The writing felt disconnected and disheveled. I wasn't sure where the next chapter was going to lead and when I got there it left me confused and sometimes frustrated. The switch of narration between 1st person and 3rd person had me badly in need of a scorecard trying to d
switterbug (Betsey)
May 14, 2014 switterbug (Betsey) rated it it was amazing
The title of Bloom’s latest novel, which takes place between the years of 1939-1949, is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, on the one hand. But, perhaps a backwards glance would reveal some truth behind those words. Lucky to be alive—and what I mean by alive is more than just breathing. These characters fight for their footing--they courageously and sometimes unwittingly climb out of many sad and tragic moments, and use their wits to move forward and carve out a niche for themselves, even if that nich ...more
Apr 17, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
So often, avid readers are hooked by the very first lines…or not. Here are Amy Bloom’s first lines: “My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.”

How can you resist a book that starts like that? And the good news is, the prose and cadence remain consistently good throughout Lucky Us.

The author of Love Reinvents Us focuses again on the themes of love, reinvention…and also, the families we’re born into and the families we choose. Eva,
Diane S ☔
Jul 30, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story about sisters, families and dreams, filled with memorable and unique characters.
What makes a family? In this book one person is left, one is stolen, some are just accepted in the family and another returns home and becomes part of the family. Dreams of Hollywood that turn into scandal, a road trip and the making of one sister, the downfall of the other, but after many set backs the true meaning of family wins out.

Entertaining, poignant, a novel that resonates with the reader an
Mar 31, 2014 Alena rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For a short book this was almost painfully overwritten. I'm also mystified at how Bloom made such a dramatic period in American history so boring. She also missed multiple opportunities to make coming of age in the 194os emotionally engaging. Her characters, who had so much potential as misfits, remained flat throughout. Lots and lots of historical background but without a good story or full dimensional characters, this book went nowhere.

So many better WWII novels. Skip this one.
Jul 22, 2014 Ionia rated it liked it
This book grabbed me in the beginning, but then over time I started to lose interest a little. I kept expecting there to be some moment when everything came together and the characters really revealed themselves to the reader, but that never happened.

I felt like I was looking through a window at the characters the whole time and never really got to know them. In the beginning I developed a dislike of Iris, and that never really left me. I did, however really like Eva. I liked that her innocence
Oct 29, 2014 Gayle rated it it was ok
While I was reading Amy Bloom’s new novel, Lucky Us, I had a few questions: How did a book like Lucky Us get published, as is? Did someone read it – really read it – before it got published? If you’re Amy Bloom, with a few great successes under your belt, does that mean that you get to bypass the editing process?

I really didn’t like Lucky Us much at all. It is supposed to be a jazzy novel set in the 40s about how an unconventional family finds each other and survives the ups and downs of a turbu
Jan 25, 2014 Brita rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, owned, arc
Book Lust

Left on her father's porch at the age of twelve, Eva suddenly finds herself living in the shadow of her half-sister, Iris, though the two love each other dearly. Eva follows Iris to 1940s Hollywood as Iris pursues her dream of being a star. When things there go awry, the girls travel across the country to New York, to start new lives. Iris' beauty and talent continues to overshadow Eva, who only wishes for the family she was never allowed. There is joy and success, but also loss and hea
Angela M
May 12, 2014 Angela M rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the opportunity to read this book .
3.5 stars

This is another coming of age story where the teenage protagonist is already wiser than most of the other characters and becomes the adult who manages to become a good, caring person in spite of her circumstances.
Eva, at 12 years old is left by her mother on her father's doorstep. . His second wife has just died and Eva meets her half sister Iris for the first time. .F
Betsy Robinson
Feb 24, 2014 Betsy Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lucky Us is the story of a patchworked family: two sisters (by different mothers), their “blithe, inscrutable, crooked father,” and their various acquaintances who become new patchworked families — all manipulating and scheming their way through the 1940s US of A.

This is voluptuous American writing. Like the family, the story is patchworked — the pieces, not necessarily linear, but when put together, they tell a more perfect story than tales that are forced into a tight chronological narrative.
Minty McBunny
Sep 06, 2014 Minty McBunny rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014, september-2014
Poorly written with a flat tone, almost as if the author was bored with her subjects. The subjects themselves were not lovable or interesting once I got to know them, and ultimately I found myself wanting to play Two Dots or Threes on my phone more than I wanted to pick this book up and finish it. Not so lucky me.
May 08, 2014 Abby rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
“My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.”

Sometimes an opening hooks you right away and the book delivers on its promise. And sometimes the opening hooks you right away and the book lets you down in the end. I have liked Amy Bloom's fiction and non-fiction. Her writing is fluid and she shows real understanding and compassion for her characters. I heard her speak once and she seemed warm, unpretentious and like someone you wanted
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Aug 09, 2014 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have read several books by Amy Bloom, and I think my favorite remains A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You. I think that is because I prefer her writing style in short stories than in full novels, because even in a novel like this one, it's told in pieces.

The story is of two sisters who are two years apart, but don't know about each other until the wife of their father dies. That wife is only the mother of one of the
Jennie  Canzoneri
Jan 01, 2015 Jennie Canzoneri rated it really liked it
This surprising book. I loved the title, the cover, and every single character, from the worst to the best, most of them a blended combination of both good and bad, which kept wonderfully reminding me of life. Life is beautiful and ugly, with good people doing horrible things and horrible people showing up for us when we least expect it, and we keep surviving through it all. And then there was this refreshing streak of history that felt both thoughtful and subtle.

I caught my breath at the excell
Jul 29, 2014 Quiltgranny rated it it was ok
The characters were not engaging, the plot (was there one?) was not gripping and overall, I felt that I kept waiting for it to get started. I wouldn't recommend spending your time just rambling around in this story.
Aug 26, 2014 Snotchocheez rated it it was ok

2.5 stars

I've been binge watching the PBS series "The Mind of a Chef" lately, the first two seasons of which featuring two celebrated young up-and-coming chefs in the culinary world: David Chang of Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC and Sean Brock of McCrady's and Husk Restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina. Both chefs' concepts are rooted in their early food experiences growing up (Chang's Korean-American-tinted ramen love, Brock's affinity for down home Rural Virginia southern cooking). Each took t
Fiery Jack
Jul 07, 2014 Fiery Jack rated it really liked it
Amy Bloom writes gorgeous and precise prose with deeply interesting and surprising characters. I'm going to be thinking about this book for awhile.
Dec 12, 2014 Judy rated it it was amazing
Amy Bloom just never lets me down as a reader. Lucky Us was the last book I finished in 2014 and it was an auspicious moment when I did. 2014 turned out to be a rough reading year for me: personal issues which possessed my attention, illness, eye surgeries. All I wanted to do was read but sometimes all I could do was play Solitaire on my iPad.

So ending my reading year with a book so satisfying, so aligned with my current views about life, actually I must say, so perfect, reassured me that I cou
Aug 13, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ladies-writin
Amy Bloom is criminally underrated as a writer. I've been having a literary love affair with her since I started reading Where the God of Love Hangs Out when Gray was a newborn and I knew that when he slept I should've been sleeping too, but even still I could not put the book down at all. I stand by that opinion even though this book didn't knock my socks off. Her writing is liquid and gorgeous as always, but the ending seemed forced. I feel like she could've added another twenty pages to expan ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
What in the world did I just read?
I thought the first half of the book was very engaging. Then it took off in a direction I was dragging my feet while following. Not really for me. Lovely cover though.
Taryn Pierson
May 19, 2014 Taryn Pierson rated it liked it
I'm not as smart as I think I am. Sometimes I get a little uppity, thinking I'm this crusty veteran reader who's seen it all and can't be challenged by contemporary lit. I suspect my cocky attitude is the result of my years of teaching. I mean, it was my job to have all the answers. I basically got a degree in how to read and write. For a brief time, my life's work was to disperse my vast knowledge to largely indifferent teens. I was paid $36,000 a year to be right all the time. (How's that for ...more
First, a question to cover designers--what's up with having models turn away from the reader, such as this one? Recently I've read Bitter Greens, Maine and The Painted Girls with them all turning away from me. No wonder they were on my TBR list for so long! They can't look me in the eye!

This is a short book. Even though, in the back Bloom discusses how luck can be both good and bad I didn't see how the title reflects the book.


I also cannot fathom why the characters had absolutely no reaction t
Susan Johnson
Jul 04, 2014 Susan Johnson rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

The characters in this book are so alive that they seem to walk off the page. They are impossible not to care for and you want to keep turning the pages to find out what will happen to them next. It's a short novel (233 pages) so that's easy to do. Because it's very character driven, there's not much plot. It's just about life and making a family where ever you go.

Eva,12, is dropped off on her father's front porch as her mother drives away. There she is introduced to her older half-s
“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 is the first line, and from there it only gets better. Eva is left at her father's house without a second glance from mom, and when dad proves not much better she sets off with her half sister Iris to Hollywood while they are both teenagers in 1940s America. Movie stars, orgies, lesbian lovers, a deported war crime husband and deadly fires are only half of the good stuff in this bo
Nov 08, 2014 Peggy rated it it was ok
A great, intriguing book jacket, an intriguing first line, only to be followed by a mishmashed, jumpy story with an abrupt ending.
After the death of her mother, Eva's father takes her to his former wife's house where her older half sister Iris lives. Tired of the dysfunctional home they live in, Iris and Eva set out for Hollywood where Iris knows she will become a star. Nothing seems to turn out well for Iris who invites many of the troubles that befall her. Meanwhile, teenage Eva who is a lot
Lydia Presley
LUCKY US by Amy Bloom starts with the following line: ""My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us." Unfortunately, things did not stay with that same level of awesomeness. What I was pitched by the synopsis was a story that involved two sisters stumbling through life together. What I got was two sisters thrown together until something happened that tears them apart and the rest of the story we only really get to see the life of the ...more
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Little Blue Books 4 66 Mar 09, 2015 10:40PM  
What's The Name o...: This book is about a man who has two families and I think the title has something to do with happiness [s] 13 58 Nov 06, 2014 06:54PM  
Casual Readers: Lucky Us 1 32 May 06, 2014 08:41PM  
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Amy Bloom is the author of "Come to Me," a National Book Award finalist; "A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You," nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; "Love Invents Us"; and "Normal." Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Short Stories, The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction, and many other anthologies here and abroad. She has wri ...more
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“some people bounced back from a train wreck and some people couldn’t get over a bee sting.” 17 likes
“moving forward only because backward wasn’t possible.” 8 likes
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