Author(s): Amy Bloom
"NEW YORK TIMES "BESTSELLER - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY "THE WASHINGTON POST "AND "O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE" ""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"
""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 "These two things about Amy Bloom's surprise-filled "Lucky Us" are indisputable: It opens with a terrific hook and closes with an image of exquisite resolution. . . . She writes sharp, sparsely beautiful scenes that excitingly defy expectation, and part of the pleasure of reading her is simply keeping up with her. You won't know where "Lucky Us" is headed until, suddenly, it's there. . . . The book's opening lines, destined to be quoted in many a classroom for their perfection, are: 'My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.' . . . [It's] a short, vibrant book about all kinds of people creating all kinds of serial, improvisatory lives. Changes occur because characters fall in and out of love, trouble and, yes, luck. And even when the bad luck is devastating, they dust themselves off and inventively move on."--Janet Maslin, "The New York Times"" ""Bighearted, rambunctious . . . a bustling tale of American reinvention . . . [a] high-octane tale of two half-sisters who take it upon themselves to reverse their sorry, motherless fortunes . . . 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. . . . Love will fizz and fizzle, outrageous lies will be told, orphans will find happiness and heartbreak, and fate will sweep in to drive characters into hellish corners of the world. . . . There are few American novelists writing today who can spin a yarn as winningly. . . . Welcome to America, dear reader. Lucky us."--"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 . . . "Lucky Us" is about Bloom's uncanny ability to conjure the tone of the war years--broken hearts held together by lipstick, wisecracks and the enduring love of sisters, come what may."--"USA Today"" ""Exquisitely imagined . . . [a] grand adventure."--"O: The Oprah Magazine" "Marvelous picaresque entertainment . . . Our heroines' prospects darken, brighten, and darken again with every turn of Bloom's cosmic kaleidoscope. Parades of finely drawn characters--a Spanish makeup artist, a black jazz singer afflicted with vitiligo, a lovely Italian nouveau riche family in Great Neck, New York, a soulful German mechanic--enter and leave the scene. . . . To read Bloom's fiction is to experience afresh how life is ruled by chance and composed of spare parts that are purposed and repurposed in uncanny ways--it's 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"" ""A fireworks display of delightful, if sometimes confounding, surprises . . . wildly twisting . . . spryly spontaneous."--"The Wall Street Journal"" " "[Bloom] writes with such spare, efficient grace. . . . Her words are carefully chosen to cut clean and deep. . . . Even [her] casual asides stack up, like pearls strung on a wire. . . . Taken together, they make this odd, precocious girl's story feel as big and small and strangely marvelous as life itself. [Grade] A-"--"Entertainment Weekly"" ""This coming-of-age story begs for a string of exuberant adjectives: heartbreaking, triumphant, lush and sparkling. . . . The book is fanciful but deep, the world is flawed but beautiful, and Eva can never decide between grief and joy because, it turns out, you can't: Life is a high-wire balancing act suspended between the two."--"More"" " "In Bloom's masterful hands, this scrappy band of misfits is totally loveable."--"Marie Claire"" ""In a relatively small number of pages, she gracefully creates a bustling crowd of characters, many of whom might well star in a novel of their own. . . . "Lucky Us" is a beautifully textured story of getting by and moving on; of a time when Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 'plummy, patrician voice . . . managed to be the voice of people who never spoke that way'; of creating a family from both the people you're born to and the ones you find along the way. And, most of all, it's a wickedly warmhearted tale of two very different sisters and their meandering paths through young adulthood; each finding, eventually, her own way home."--"The Seattle Times"" " "Bloom's book beautifully explores the myriad ways in which we define and create the American family, and ultimately how we carve our path when life keeps throwing obstacles in our way. . . . "Lucky Us" is a beautiful novel with complicated and layered messages about survival, family and obligation, but ultimately it is a novel about hope and possibility, when we finally understand that we are more than the sum of our circumstances."--Minneapolis "Star Tribune"" " "A novel of striking emotional depth, proving anew the Chekhovian truth that genuine comedy can be deeply sad."--"Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"" " "Imaginative . . . gloriously satisfying . . . These characters are separated by fate and distance, but form a vividly rendered patchwork American family (straight, gay, white, black, citizen, immigrant). Bloom transforms history to create a story of stunning invention, with characters that readers will feel lucky to encounter."--"Publishers Weekly "(starred review) "Unrepentantly quirky, a madcap romp complete with road trips, secret identities, aspiring Hollywood starlets, and a tarot card-reading fake psychic . . . At its core, this is a novel of resilience, with the war serving as both a life-changing event and no more than the background noise of an impoverished existence. Full of intriguing characters and lots of surprises . . . readers of literary fiction and twentieth-century historicals, as well as fans of wacky humor, will find it an excellent choice."--"Library Journal "(starred review) "A multilayered, historical tale about different kinds of love and family. Bloom enlivens her story with understated humor as well as offbeat and unforgettable characters. . . . A hard-luck coming-of-age story with heart."--"Kirkus Reviews "(starred review) ""Lucky Us" indeed--another Amy Bloom book. And, if it's possible, even more powerful and affecting than her last novel, "Away." This is a poignant book that manages to be funny, an unflinching portrait that manages to be tender, a tough story that manages to also have jazz and grace. Bloom is a great writer who keeps stepping into new territory, entirely unafraid. She is one of America's unique and most gifted literary voices."--Colum McCann
Amy Bloom is the author of "Come to Me, " a National Book Award finalist; "A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, " nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award;" Love Invents Us;""Normal;""Away, "a "New York Times" bestseller; and "Where the God of Love Hangs Out." Her stories have appeared in "The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Short Stories, The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction," and many other anthologies here and abroad. She has written for "The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, ""Slate, " and "Salon, " among other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award. She teaches creative writing at Wesleyan University.