Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

#BeatTheBacklist book 6
2017 book 6

Format: Print (hardcover)
Length: 256 pages
Published: 2014

As long as I can remember I have entertained fantasies of running away to a new city and reinventing myself.  I wanted to run away long before I ever did anything worth running away from.  Maybe that’s why I loved Lucky Us so much.

What It’s About… Spoilerish

Iris and Eva are half sisters.  They both lose their mothers as adolescents and are thrust together to live with their shared con man father in a small town in Ohio. Iris is beautiful and talented and has dreams of fame and fortune.  Eva just wants to get away. Together they move to Hollywood to pursue Iris’s dreams.  Iris makes an impression and her career starts to take off until some sexy pictures get her blacklisted.  Did I mention this takes place in the 1940s?

The  unconventional family of their childhood sets a precedent for the family they build after Iris’s scandal breaks which includes a fatherly gay make up artist and a jazz singer with vitiligo, among others.  Their father reenters their life, putting his con man abilities to good use by forging them diplomas and letters of reference.  They move to New York and reinvent themselves again.  On this end of the country Iris does terrible things in the name of love and at some point the sisters abduct an orphan.  It is a crazy story of self discovery and love and what happens when you get to choose your family.

What I Thought…

I loved this book.  I loved poor broken Iris who started out so sure of herself.  I loved sidekick Eva who is stronger than anyone credited.  I even loved their selfish shit heel of a father who turns out to be just a flawed human being like the rest of us.  The characters are feminist and smart and strong and some of them are queer and all of them are great.  Amy Bloom’s prose is lovely and the story is wonderful and I can’t recommend this book enough.

Also, this is one of the best book covers I have ever seen even though I don’t understand how it relates to the story.

 

I am attempting to read 50 books from my backlist in 2017.  You can see the ever evolving list with links to my reviews here. I am always looking for new titles to add to the list, so recommendations are welcome.

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