Title: Loving Eleanor
Author: Susan Wittig Albert
Publisher: Persevero Press
Publish Date: February 1, 2016
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "When AP political reporter Lorena Hickok—Hick—is assigned to cover Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1932 campaign, the two women become deeply involved. Their relationship begins with mutual romantic passion, matures through stormy periods of enforced separation and competing interests, and warms into an enduring, encompassing friendship documented by 3300 letters.
Set during the chaotic years of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Second World War, Loving Eleanor reveals Eleanor Roosevelt as a complex, contradictory, and entirely human woman who is pulled in many directions by her obligations to her husband and family and her role as the nation's First Lady. Hick is revealed as an accomplished journalist, who, at the pinnacle of her career, gives it all up for the woman she loves. Then, as Eleanor is transformed into Eleanor Everywhere, First Lady of the World, Hick must create her own independent, productive life. Loving Eleanor is a profoundly moving novel that illuminates a relationship we are seldom privileged to see, celebrating the depth and durability of women's love. "
My Two Cents:
"Loving Eleanor" is the story of the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena "Hick" Hickok. These two women were said to be in love through much of FDR's time in office. In this book, the author offers a nuanced portrait on the relationship between these two women. Being a fan of Eleanor Roosevelt but not knowing much about Hick or Roosevelt's relationship with Hick, I was excited to read this book!
I thought that the author's choice to have Hick as the narrator was a great choice. We get a front row seat to the love affair that was and how difficult it was for both women to manuever in the relationship when all eyes were on Mrs. Roosevelt. I loved getting to know Hick and how she saw Eleanor, a much different person privately than she was publically. I feel like I learned more than I did before about Eleanor. Hick was a private citizen and Eleanor was anything but. This difference impacted the relationship between the two in many different ways that were fascinating to watch play out!
The author did a lot of research into what made both women tick and seemed to draw extensively on the broad correspondence between the two women. All the detail really pulled me into the book and made the characters feel real. I did find myself wanting more when the book ended but in this case, it was simply due to the book being so interesting! This book will appeal to those historical fiction lovers who are interested in a different side of Eleanor Roosevelt!