Lucky Us: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
“My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.”
So begins this remarkable novel by Amy Bloom, whose critically acclaimed Away was called “a literary triumph” (The New York Times). Lucky Us is a brilliantly written, deeply moving, fantastically funny novel of love, heartbreak, and luck.
Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star and Eva the sidekick, journey through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris’s ambitions take the pair across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, and to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island.
With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine though a landscape of big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and war. Filled with gorgeous writing, memorable characters, and surprising events, Lucky Us is a thrilling and resonant novel about success and failure, good luck and bad, the creation of a family, and the pleasures and inevitable perils of family life, conventional and otherwise. From Brooklyn’s beauty parlors to London’s West End, a group of unforgettable people love, lie, cheat and survive in this story of our fragile, absurd, heroic species.
Praise for Lucky Us
“Lucky Us is a remarkable accomplishment. One waits a long time for a novel of this scope and dimension, replete with surgically drawn characters, a mix of comedy and tragedy that borders on the miraculous, and sentences that should be in a sentence museum. Amy Bloom is a treasure.”—Michael Cunningham
“Exquisite . . . a short, vibrant book about all kinds of people creating all kinds of serial, improvisatory lives.”—The New York Times
“Bighearted, rambunctious . . . a bustling tale of American reinvention . . . If America has a Victor Hugo, it is Amy Bloom, whose picaresque novels roam the world, plumb the human heart and send characters into wild roulettes of kismet and calamity.”—The Washington Post
“Bloom’s crisp, delicious prose gives [Lucky Us] the feel of sprawling, brawling life itself. . . . Lucky Us is a sister act, which means a double dose of sauce and naughtiness from the brilliant Amy Bloom.”—The Oregonian
“A tasty summer read that will leave you smiling . . . Broken hearts [are] held together by lipstick, wisecracks and the enduring love of sisters.”—USA Today
“Exquisitely imagined . . . [a] grand adventure.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Marvelous picaresque entertainment . . . a festival of joy and terror and lust and amazement that resolves itself here, warts and all, in a kind of crystalline Mozartean clarity of vision.”—Elle
required for Mr. Torelli and the family, and serve on more formal occasions, and run the household in a general way. Mrs. Torelli was not a poker player. She beamed. She wondered what they would be calling him and Edgar said that Acton would suit him fine. Mrs. Torelli tried out Mr. Acton and Edgar stiffened, fractionally. Just Acton is suitable, madame, he said, and put his hands behind his back. She was wisely reprimanded, happily forgiven, in thrall. Between you and Edgar, I’m surprised I ever
Letter from Iris Upper Richmond Road Putney, London April 1947 Dear Eva, Pride of Israel orphanage. You knew your way around that place like you lived there. You were my tour guide. You must have timed our visit for the baseball game and the boy you had a crush on. (You kept your glasses off and your chest out until the baseball players were called inside.) Then the little ones came out. We stood there like people at a museum, admiring, assessing the different children. There weren’t that
rhododendrons of Kenilworth and the prompt service of the Fire Department, which they did. Five years later, the Great Neck News carried ads for Fein Furniture and the Cohen Brothers’ Steem-Cleaning.) The Jewish veterans moved their pregnant wives into three-bedroom houses, which looked a lot like the three-bedroom houses to the right and left of them. On summer nights, twenty-five noisy Jewish kids—and the occasional Castellano and O’Brien—poured into the wide streets, playing running bases or
of the masses, they should demand a better drug.) There was a condescending article about her in The New York Times—“Divine Healing and Hope, Promises Hazelle Logan” (Please note the new spelling). And a nice big picture. I would know her anywhere, in any costume. She’s wearing a pleated Grecian-style thing with a wide belt, and her head is thrown back, overcome with something. I showed Francisco the article. He asked if I was going to forgive her or punish her and I said I was pretty sure that I
bodies of two girls who’d been kidnapped from France. He found their corpses in an orchard of cork trees in Portugal. M. Croiset didn’t speak English. Ted Ronson and the other men wanted to show that they weren’t impressed by him, but they were. M. Croiset was having a great time. He talked to himself as we walked along and he hummed. He pulled together some wildflowers and handed them to me. When my hands were full, he put a few in his buttonhole. He chuckled at the rabbits and squirrels. He