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

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,453 ratings  ·  453 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
...more
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)
Wanda Keith 'Loving Eleanor' is written as a novel.…more'Loving Eleanor' is written as a novel.(less)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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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
DeB MaRtEnS
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
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Nancy
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
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Denise
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 Endlessly Booked
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 ...more
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
...more
Katie
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
...more
Tammy
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
Erin
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
...more
Camryn
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.
Cindy
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))))) ...more
Rosemarie Donzanti
Jul 20, 2020 rated it liked it
An interesting read for sure. Eleanor and Franklin had an interesting relationship that was peppered and spicy with a dollop of infidelity. I really enjoyed the historical aspect of the book. The personal relationships, however were pretty darn dysfunctional. Not a lot of truth in this marriage but a fair share of jealousy. I probably would have enjoyed the book so much more if it was my first read of Eleanor and Hicks relationship. I read White Houses by Amy Bloom two years ago and I was shocke ...more
Angela
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
...more
Melody
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.
Jess
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
Theresa
Jun 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am thankful that someone wrote a book which openly acknowledges Eleanor's love relationship with Lorena Hickok. Before responding to the book, I want to share a story. Several years ago when I was teaching Women's Studies, I was on both the committee to develop the program for Women's History Week and on the board of the Women's Studies program. For the history month celebration we decided to bring Pat Bond to perform. She was an actor who had put together a one-woman show about Eleanor and Hi ...more
Leah Struhsaker
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5.

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.
Tanya
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
Melody
There were some parts that I thought did not need to be in there, but overall, I enjoyed it.
Moira
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
While slow at times, I very much enjoyed this perspective on Eleanor Roosevelt, Lorena Hickok, their friendship and love, and the history of the 30s and 40s.
Nikki
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a lovely, non-fluff escape into history. Richly personal details, empathetic nuance, and lots of fun. Like riding shotgun on a romance rollercoaster and then watching it level into steady motion. Great history, great biography, great pleasure.
Heather
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
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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
...more
Debbie Pearson cox
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book provided a very personal look at the life of Eleanor Roosevelt and her special relationship with Lorena Hicks. CNN is airing a series on First Ladies. It will be interesting to see if that relationship is touched upon in the series. The historical background to her life in the White House was quite interesting.
Quirkyreader
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.
Houston Reader
How on earth did this writer make a fascinating subject boring?
Deborah Carr
I just could't finish this book. It just couldn't keep my interest. ...more
Mark
When you're in a book club, you'll sometimes get a book you never would have chosen on your own, and you'll think, I'm glad I read that.

This is not one of those occasions.

This is also, I admit, a cheat review, because I was generally so disinterested in this topic that I skipped the whole middle of the book.

Quinn is a decent writer and has done her research, as far as I can tell, but the story she has told is really not so much a love story, as far as I can tell, as a loyalty story.

The clear im
...more
Robyn
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
...more
Giedra
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
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Book Club Guide 1 14 Jun 13, 2017 10:43AM  

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Susan Quinn grew up in Chillicothe, Ohio, and graduated from Oberlin College. She began her writing career as a newspaper reporter on a suburban daily outside of Cleveland, following two years as an apprentice actor at the Cleveland Playhouse. In 1967, she published her first book under the name Susan Jacobs: a nonfiction account of the making of a Broadway play called On Stage (Alfred A. Knopf). ...more

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