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Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,035 ratings  ·  402 reviews
A warm, intimate account of the love between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok—a relationship that, over more than three decades, transformed both women's lives and empowered them to play significant roles in one of the most tumultuous periods in American history

In 1932, as her husband assumed the presidency, Eleanor Roosevelt entered the claustrophobic, duty-bo
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Penguin Press
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Nancyhoward I so enjoyed this book. will be remembered as one of my favorites. It sure emphasizes how influential these two women's ideas were to FDR.Well written…moreI so enjoyed this book. will be remembered as one of my favorites. It sure emphasizes how influential these two women's ideas were to FDR.Well written, keeps one's attention and educational!(less)

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Montzalee Wittmann
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eleanor and Hick by Susan Quinn is a book I picked up from the library. I enjoyed this book and learned a lot of history from it too. When it talked about the history of Hick's life, it is so sad and yet if she lived today, this would not have happened. Sure, she might have had a drunk father that beat her but she couldn't live own her own as a young teen.She also wouldn't have to work at different places to feed herself. Hick had a hard life, a total opposite of Eleanor. I also learned more abo ...more
I'm of two minds about this book: I appreciated learning about Lorena Hickok's considerable positive contribution to FDR's years as President and as a tremendously affirmative support for Eleanor Roosevelt. However, I did get bogged down with the breadth and detail of FDR's political career, within which I had to sometimes search for the nuggets of the story of "Hick" and Eleanor, to the point that I found myself avoiding "that damn book", and making myself groaningly finish it.

The first half f
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn shows us the personal life and independent career of Eleanor Roosevelt, and explores her friendships with women and men who enriched her life and whom she deeply loved. Lorena Hickcok (Hick) was an AP journalist covering the White House when Eleanor met her. Sharing a train car while campaigning started a relationship that helped Eleanor become a capable leader and broke Lorena's heart.

Discovering her husband's love affair
This is going to be one of the blockbuster popular histories of the fall, certainly to be featured on NPR and other big book promoters like that, so I was super excited to get an advanced copy. But unfortunately I was quite let down, because the book was actually kinda flat, and I was disappointed in it, though I’ve thought about it for several days and I still can’t totally put my finger on why it seemed so meh. I am slightly crazy about Eleanor Roosevelt, who is America’s greatest politician w ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
3 stars or 4 stars? I honestly don't know. As evidence of a love story through a changing time in our country's history, strong four stars. Otherwise, it is rather dull. Audiobook I found my mind wandering it was easy to lose track of the narrative because little action takes place. I'm glad I read it, just not happy I own it and can't sell it
Alisha Marie
Aug 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I found Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady to be somewhat underwhelming. I guess with a subtitle like that I expected there to be tons more focus on the actual relationship/love affair between Eleanor and Hick, but you don't really get that. I mean, you get some, but a lot of this book is focused on what these two ladies did separately as opposed to together.

I also would have liked it if this book included more of the letters that Hick and Eleanor wrote each other. I know
The first half of this was really good! Very readable and engaging. I'd heard of Hick before, but had no idea she and Eleanor had such a close (probably romantic, possible sexual) relationship.

Then my library loan expired and I had to wait to read the second half, so some of my waning interest is probably due to that, but also the second half of the book was more about Eleanor and Hick as individuals. Which was still interesting, but wasn't what the book promised.

Eleanor had other close, special
Jul 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Thank you First Reads for the opportunity to read Eleanor and Hick. This book chronicles the love between two women and the influence that the First Lady had during the depression, the war and the years following the war. I doubt that Mrs. Roosevelt would have been as effective without the stimulus of Ms. Hickock. And, the focus of the book really is on Hick's influence rather than on the relationship between the two women. So, the subtitle is a bit misleading. No matter. This is a tale that nee ...more
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Lorena Hickok was Eleanor Roosevelt's very close and personal "friend". I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like to gay in 1930's and 40's it must be hard enough in our somewhat more enlightened times. Add to that imagine being a lesbian and being the First Lady. Before reading this I had heard the rumors that Eleanor Roosevelt may have been a lesbian and I wanted to learn more about that part of her life.

This book was fascinating but also slow moving and boring at times. I ge
Feb 25, 2020 added it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
DNF at 112 pages. This was interesting and well written and I commend the author for talking about the racism and anti-semitism both women engaged in. That being said, it was really frustrating me and making me, quite frankly, not care about either of them, so I had to stop.
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-owned
One of my passions these days is learning about the history of the world. I can’t remember how I discovered this book, it was possibly a recommendation on goodreads. I do remember reading in a historical book about Eleanor Roosevelt's Tour of the South Pacific in 1943, when she visited our soldiers in Australia during World War II. There was no hesitation with the full 5 star rating I gave it. It was so interesting and enlightening.

Eleanor Roosevelt, was First Lady of the U.S.A from March 4, 193
Gosh, I'm so disappointed. As a card carrying lesbian from birth, I'm unclear how I had never heard of Eleanor and Hick. So, you can only imagine my reaction when I saw this title. I was beyond pumped. Although full of information, I found this book boring and a struggle to get through. It was neither warm nor intimate. I actually feel bad that I disliked it so much. (((le sigh)))))
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aloud
Interesting and involving, this book totally captivated me from the beginning. Some of the aspects of the relationship are so heartbreakingly sad they were hard to read about. I enjoyed the clearer picture of Eleanor and Hick.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
A lot of information about the political climate/events/background of the time and individuals involved, and some good info on some lez relationships, but I wanted more of the latter
Leah Struhsaker
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it

Eleanor Roosevelt has always been someone I admire and this book affirms this. I’ll note, this is more of a general biography of her life with a focus on her relationship with Hick which is more heavy in the beginning of the book than the second half on. I expected it to focus on their relationship more closely throughout. A great read nonetheless.
t a n y a
Overall a most interesting, thorough background of Eleanor and Hick’s relationship. The writing and research was well done but I couldn’t understand why Hicks lived in the White House and was allowed to carry on with Eleanor. If Hicks had been a man, I would be of the same opinion. The bits about each woman’s early life was telling and insightful; Eleanor’s hands on approach to helping in and out of the White House was really wonderful and certainly showed her desire to help all people. Her rela ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a big fan of Eleanor Roosevelt, it's sometimes hard to find biographies that stay true to her while also providing a fresh perspective. This book has managed to do that by taking her widely-acknowledged and yet still slightly secret relationship with Lorena Hickock and putting it center stage. By writing the book as a dual biography of the two women, the author was able to highlight the ways in which their lives intersected and diverged without convoluted effort.

I enjoyed reading more about t
Judy G
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This title is a misnomer. It is not about a love affair between Eleanor Roosevelt and the journalist Hick. It isnt even certain from the passages of their letters that they had a love affair. They did tho love each other and whether there was a sexual relationship is uncertain.
What this book is about is the political life of Eleanor and about the life of her friend Hick or Lorena Hickok. It is also about the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the issues of those times especially about
Aug 04, 2016 rated it liked it
I received this as an ARC from Penguin. It was an OK book. At times I did get board with the narrative, but I did finish it.
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I checked this book out at the library and was quite surprised to learn so much about Eleanor Roosevelt and her relationship with Lorena Hickok (Hick) an AP journalist covering the White House. I think that the world is aware now that FDR was involved in another relationship and that he and Eleanor were married in name only in an attempt to save his political career.

Being a board minded person, I assume that what is good for the drake is good for the flock, so to speak. So I was ok to learn tha
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Greatly enjoyed reading this book. I didn't know much about Eleanor Roosevelt beyond being FDR's wife (and distant cousin), and had never even heard of Lorena Hickok ("Hick"). Hick was a journalist who, in the course of following FDR's career, became one of Eleanor's closest lifelong friends and for a time, perhaps something more. It's clear that after discovering FDR's affair with Lucy Mercer during his time as a (Senator/Representative? forget which) in DC, Eleanor resolved to stay married but ...more
"I'm afraid, you and I are always going to have times when we ache for each other and yet we are not always going to be happy when we are together." pg. 129

This was our book club pick for June. Must say, I was pleasantly surprise to find out about the romantic and possibly homosexual relationship of first lady Eleanor Roosevelt with journalist Lorena Hick.

The book was well-balanced with historical anecdotes and documented interactions between Mrs. Roosevelt and Miss Hick. Friends or lovers? As
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full of the dynamic personalities of the FDR era probably many unknown to today's 21 century.I came away with even more admiration for ER ,a complex woman well suited to her unique role in history.Thanks to saved correspondence from many associates including even her Christmas lists there's much information of this caring woman's life with its nearly overwhelming tragedies.Here also we see her early championing of civil rights, women's rights ,human rights ,workers rights, LGBT rights before we ...more
Kinyorda Sliwiak
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I learned more about American history reading this book than I did in school. It is interesting to learn why Roosevelt was president for 4 terms and all the major changes in the country that took place during his lifetime. Details of the personal lives of the Roosevelt family are thoroughly discussed without compromising the reporting of historical events. Eleanor Roosevelt was an impressive figure in a time when women were just starting to be seen as more than just housewives. It is tragic that ...more
Kailey Rhone
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I’ve always wanted to know more about Eleanor Roosevelt, and this was the perfect starter book. Yes, she was a humanitarian at her core, but she also held the anti-Semitic sentiment common among the American upper class. Yes, she was unhappy in her marriage, but both she and FDR managed a somewhat progressive relationship wherein both partners coexisted and carried on affairs outside of the White House.

In some ways Eleanor turned out to be exactly what I assumed about her. She was emotionally r
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quinn did a great job with research and producing a great narrative. I just don’t feel that the book lived up to its subtitle. I think many of ER’s interesting friends got just as much attention here. I think Blanche Wiesen Cook’s books on ER reign supreme, but I celebrate any book that portrays ER in a full way. And I love the spotlight that Hickok gets. This book makes me want to read Joe Lash’s book on ER and a whole lot of other things.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was very interesting, all-be-it a little slow. It left me uncertain about the motivations of the book. Was it to prove Eleanor and Hick were indeed lesbians? To what end? Because Quinn never came right out and said it. Also, Quinn presented two other men who Eleanor had very close relationships with. I don't know. I guess it's really just curiosity that keeps this topic alive, after all the major players have died. There is no question about the importance Eleanor Roosevelt played in Americ ...more
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Eleanor Roosevelt is a fascinating character and this book is an interesting look at her from the perspective of her emotional attachments to those outside her family. It's also a look at the flak FDR put up with from Congress when trying to deal with the Depression. A great look at the 1930s and 40s in the US.
Tamela Rich
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At first, I worried that the author might delve into prurient themes or turn it into a screed from modern sensibilities, but she did neither.

This is history, as seen through the lenses of—and as affected by—the actions of Eleanor and Hick, two competent and capable women with a shared interest in social justice.

Well done!
Diane Wachter
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A non-fiction book recounting the relationships of Eleanor Roosevelt, including her life with FDR, and with Lenora Hickok 'Hick'. A book that speculates about a Lesbian relationship between the First Lady and her friend, Hick, but we will never know for sure. A good read, full of history, historic figures, and insights into the Great Depression, WWII, FDR'S political life, and beyond.
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