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Lucky Us

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  16,550 ratings  ·  2,168 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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Laurenwesolowski Poor writing...honestly most of the characters don't have any discernable motivation for why they do the things they do.…morePoor writing...honestly most of the characters don't have any discernable motivation for why they do the things they do.(less)
Medhansu 2 pages or 20 pages, I honestly have to say, no it doesn't. I finished it only because I rarely give up on books, but it was a hard slog.…more2 pages or 20 pages, I honestly have to say, no it doesn't. I finished it only because I rarely give up on books, but it was a hard slog.(less)

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Average rating 3.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,550 ratings  ·  2,168 reviews

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Jul 23, 2014 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
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it

The story opens in 1939, when World War II is starting. Twelve-year-old Eva Logan Acton and her waitress mother Hazel are the 'secret family' of English professor Edgar Acton.

Edgar has a 'real' wife and daughter in classy Windsor, Ohio, and visits his clandestine family twice a week. When Edgar's wife dies, Hazel drives Eva to Windsor and leaves the girl at Edgar's house as she drives away for good.

Eva is accepted into Edgar's household, and is impressed by her beautiful 16-year-old half-sister
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 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
Mar 31, 2014 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.
Diane S ☔
Jul 30, 2013 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
switterbug (Betsey)
May 14, 2014 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 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,
Oct 29, 2014 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
Angela M
May 12, 2014 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
Jul 22, 2014 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
Jan 25, 2014 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
Betsy Robinson
Feb 24, 2014 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.
Lyn Elliott
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-best, fiction
I enjoyed this immensely. Terrific writing, quirky characters and plot. Nothing formulaic about it - a great short read and I will look for more Amy Bloom in our wonderful local library.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Aug 09, 2014 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
Minty McBunny
Sep 06, 2014 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.
Krista Regester
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had the pleasure of meeting Amy Bloom a few years ago and hearing her read a portion of this story. She was poised, brilliant, beautiful, and classic – which is exactly how I would describe Lucky Us.
Dec 12, 2014 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
May 08, 2014 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
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After reading descriptions of this book, I was under the impression that it would be a straightforward story about two half-sisters who set out for Hollywood. One with stars in her eyes and the other just to tag along. While it is this, it is also so much more. Amy Bloom has created an intricate story filled with many wonderfully eccentric characters. The only way that I can think to describe this novel is as a mishmash of just about everything that when combined somehow works. There is deceit, ...more
Jennie Canzoneri
Jan 01, 2015 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
May 19, 2014 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
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orgasmic
I really didn't know what to expect with this one, i hadn't read any Amy Bloom before, but i immediately was drawn into the world of it and loved the writing. I love how it seemed quite meandering, big events would happen quite suddenly and ordinarily and then the story would just follow this new unexpected path, just like actual life does, and i found it all wonderfully cute then dark then touching then harrowing and i really like that mix, and i really liked these characters. ...more
Jul 29, 2014 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. ...more
Aug 26, 2014 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 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. ...more
Renita D'Silva
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautiful story with heart. Loved it so much.
“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
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Little Blue Books 4 77 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] 13 102 Nov 06, 2014 06:54PM  
Casual Readers: Lucky Us 1 35 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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