Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert
There are some public figures that I have admired all my life and Eleanor Roosevelt is one of them. It doesn’t matter that she had already past a year before I was born. I admire her for all that she did for the U.S. and especially did to progress women’s rights!
‘Loving Eleanor’ is a fictionalized account of Eleanor Roosevelt and the female reporter, Lorena Hickok (nick name: Hick) assigned to cover her during FDR’s run for the presidency. Yes, it covers the affair the two females had with each other and their love letters but in a tasteful way. It also showed how much Eleanor grew into her role as first lady, a role that she did not want but finally embraced.
Lorena Hickok, one of few female reporters of the time, was assigned to cover the 1928 election. She primarily covered Eleanor Roosevelt and they grew a fast rapport and friendship that became romantic, for a time. Hick is the narrator and seems to want to make sure people know about their relationship and the love she had for Eleanor.
There are a lot of details about the Great Depression and the era of FDR’s presidency. It also talked about FDR’s love interests. Yes, they both had affairs, plural. However, his were mostly accepted while Eleanor’s were not. That double standard is still alive today.
In the pages, we also get to know Hick, who I had heard of but didn’t know much about her other than she was a female reporter. The book is writing like an autobiography by Hick and I really enjoyed getting to know her and researching what was true and what was fiction. From my research, it looks like Susan Wittig Albert stuck mostly with the facts and filled in the back story to make it entertaining.
The book dragged in a couple places for me but overall I really enjoyed it and it compelled me to find out more. I was thrilled to see some further reading recommendations at the end and the author note also talked about what was fact and what was fiction. I always look for an author’s note at the end of historical fiction. It make a historical fiction novel more credible to me. I highly recommend ‘Loving Eleanor’ to historical fiction lovers!
I received the ebook version for my honest review.
About Susan Wittig Albert
Susan Wittig Albert is the award-winning, NYT bestselling author of the forthcoming historical novel Loving Eleanor (2016), about the intimate friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok; and A Wilder Rose (2014), about Rose Wilder Lane and the writing of the Little House books.
Her award-winning fiction also includes mysteries in the China Bayles series, the Darling Dahlias, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries she has written with her husband, Bill Albert, under the pseudonym of Robin Paige.
Her nonfiction titles include What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest (winner of the 2009 Willa Award for Creative Nonfiction); Writing from Life: Telling the Soul’s Story; and Work of Her Own: A Woman’s Guide to Success Off the Career Track.
She is founder and current president (2015-2017) of the Story Circle Network and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.
For more information please visit www.susanalbert.com and www.LovingEleanor.com, or read her blog. You can also find Susan on Facebook, Twitter,Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Like the Loving Eleanor page on Facebook.