I’m doing book reviews on my blog in an effort to read all the books I already own. This week I’m reviewing Lucky Us by Amy Bloom.
I got this book sometime this summer. One of my favorite thrift stores was having a book sale — 5 hardback books for $1. Obviously, I was going to take advantage of this. Pretty sure I ended up buying more than five books, of course. But that’s how it goes…
Anyway, I attended a talk by Amy Bloom at the University of Pittsburgh with my MFA program in 2016. I really enjoyed everything that she read and talked about and I felt a little bit embarrassed that I hadn’t read anything that she’d written before attending the talk. I have been, admittedly, really terrible about reading contemporary fiction. I’m trying to get better at that.
Anyway, this book, Lucky Us, was among the piles of hardback books for sale at the thrift store, so I snatched it right up.
Lucky Us follows Eva and Iris Acton from the moment when they first discover they are sisters as Eva is abandoned by her mother at her father’s house. Eva, the devoted sidekick, follows her older sister Iris, who is beautiful, talented, and ambitious, to Hollywood in search of fame and fortune.
Set in 1940s America, the plot follows the sisters from Ohio to Los Angeles to New York and, for Iris, to London. The two rejoin their biological father for a cross-country roadtrip and also gain a surrogate father in Iris’s makeup artist, Francisco. Lucky Us features tarot cards, traitorous Hollywood starlets and scandal, inter-racial and homosexual relationships, kidnapping orphans, jazz music, and war. There’s a lot going on and it’s all exciting.
The characters in this book are wonderfully complex. I loved Iris, her drive and determination to get what she wants, and the way she accepted Eva right away and took care of her, even thinking to bring her along in her escape from Ohio to Hollywood. I loved her love and dedication to those she loved, and the extreme lengths she goes to in order to make those she loves happy. I loved Eva, too, smart beyond her years, resourceful, and caring.
I also really enjoyed the plot. Eva’s first person narrative was interspersed with letters and also third-person narrative. It kept me on my toes the entire time. I will say, though, that if you enjoy reading books with a fluid plot/voice, this probably isn’t for you. If you don’t like the point of view switching around, probably skip this one. Personally, I always enjoy something different, something that makes me think, and I felt like this book was a fun and interesting read with great characters that kept me guessing at every turn.
I’m definitely going to hang onto this one for awhile — it’s going back up on my shelf. I think I might pick it up again. And, I’ll probably be looking for more Amy Bloom books in the future.
If you’re interested in reading Lucky Us, find out where you can buy it here.
Thanks for stopping by!