Loving Eleanor

Loving Eleanor

by Susan Wittig Albert


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When AP political reporter Lorena Hickok—Hick—is assigned to cover Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the wife of the 1932 Democratic presidential candidate, the two women become deeply, intimately involved. Their relationship begins with mutual romantic passion, matures through stormy periods of enforced separation and competing interests, and warms into an enduring, encompassing friendship that ends only with both women’s deaths in the 1960s—all of it documented by 3300 letters exchanged over thirty years.

Now, New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert recreates the fascinating story of Hick and Eleanor, set during the chaotic years of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Second World War. Loving Eleanor is Hick’s personal story, revealing Eleanor as a complex, contradictory, and entirely human woman who is pulled in many directions by her obligations to her husband and family and her role as the nation’s First Lady, as well as by a compelling need to care and be cared for. For her part, Hick is revealed as an accomplished journalist, who, at the pinnacle of her career, gives it all up for the woman she loves. Then, as Eleanor is transformed into Eleanor Everywhere, First Lady of the World, Hick must create her own independent, productive life.

Drawing on extensive research in the letters that were sealed for a decade following Hick’s death, Albert creates a compelling narrative: a dramatic love story, vividly portraying two strikingly unconventional women, neither of whom is satisfied to live according to the script society has written for her. Loving Eleanor is a profoundly moving novel that illuminates a relationship we are seldom privileged to see and celebrates the depth and durability of women’s love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780989203579
Publisher: Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, Inc.
Publication date: 02/01/2016
Pages: 322
Sales rank: 266,528
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Susan Wittig Albert is the New York Times bestselling author of over 50 adult novels and works of nonfiction, as well as 60+ novels for young adults. She and her husband Bill Albert live in the Texas Hill Country. She is the founder and president of the Story Circle Network and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Danville, Illinois


Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

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Loving Eleanor 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First let me say that I am always impressed by the amount of research an author must do to write a book such as this. It seems well-researched, and is well written in Ms. Hickock's voice. However, while the characters and their love were beautiful, I didn't find them, or the story, compelling enough to finish the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A treat for biography lovers.
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
This fictionalized story is of the passionate love affair between Hick (Lorena Hickok) and Eleanor Roosevelt, told in first person from Hick's point of view. Much of it is drawn from the actual letters that passed between the two, and leave no doubt as to the nature of the relationship. "Most clearly I remember your eyes, with a kind of teasing smile in them, and the feeling of that soft spot just north-east of the corner of your mouth against my lips." It is hard to imagine how Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt could hide their open marriage in plain sight; he had his partners and lovers, and she had hers, both male and female. But they did, and though at times there were rumors flying, the newspapers never printed them. The term polyamory hadn't been coined yet, but there was definitely not merely sex, but emotional connection between Eleanor and Hick, Eleanor and her other partners, and probably (though it's not within the scope of this book) between Franklin and his other partners, too, as well as a complicated but unwavering commitment between Eleanor and Franklin. It was an interesting read, and it was beautifully written, but lacked the tension of a novel, and the opening prologue was extremely slow. Actually, the whole book moved at a glacial pace, IMO. The primary problem Hick and Eleanor had was finding time to be together, while trying to keep the true nature of the relationship in the closet. The only surprise for me was how much time they were actually able to chisel out, and the vast number of letters they exchanged over the years. The gradual shift in the relationship from "I can't wait till someday soon when we'll be living together" to friends with fond memories, while both women moved on with other partners, felt inevitable. I also really liked this line: "there is love, love in all its many disguises, love embracing loss and death and imperfection, love changing, mutable, many-formed, but never diminishing—love, simply, and simply enduring." I *am* a sucker for love in all its forms, however unconventional.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having read other books by the author, I have appreciated how she can use a varity of voices to bring characters to life. In this book, the voice of Hick tells the story of a shared love between Hick and Eleanor Roosevelt during a time few understood same sex marriage. Today some would still be uncomfortable reading about same sex relationships, but it is an issue that finally is open to discussing so this would be an excellent book club book. The author is discreet and does not invade the privacy of the two lovers, nor turn it into tabloid sensualism. Only negative is that I wish the author had gone deeper into what was happening to the average citizen, since ER is known for her interest in helping minority groups and Hick covered many issues of the day. In other words some of Upton Sinclair. Would recommend, with alert to the more sensitive readers
Griperang72a More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting to book to read. I enjoyed hearing and learning more about Eleanor's personal life. Now I know this book is a work of fiction but it was still enjoyable. The author does a good job of writing so that you feel as if you are really part of the story. I do not normally read books from this time period but I had to make an excteption with this story as I enjoy this author. She did a good job capturing the time and place. A great story of love and friendship. This is a story that will touch your heart and leave you feeling refreshred after reading it. I look forward to more stories by this author.
TessT More than 1 year ago
Beginning in 1962, with the death of former 1st lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, Loving Eleanor, is fictional written from the view point of Lorena Hickok. Although we Americans have always heard rumors about her, after her death they became more frequent. Eleanor was the one true love in Lorena Hickok's life. Through the years, through the heartache, the happiness, the tears and fears, she loved Eleanor until the end of both of their lives. I admit that in 1962, I was young and pretty unaware of the lives of people I didn't know. Susan brought Eleanor to life for me. Only now I appreciate what was happening to Eleanor and Lorena, but also to the relationship of Eleanor and Franklin and the country they served. I have been a fan of Susan since I read her first China Bayles book. I have also read The Darling Dahlias an I do like them very much. But for some reason I find myself deeply appreciating Loving Eleanor and A Wilder Rose, perhaps because the subject of both books are about women that I admire.
BoxerLoverNV More than 1 year ago
This Book! OMG. This book brings the tears forward. I kept trying to read this book on my lunch break. I couldn’t do it with all the tears running down my face. Loving Eleanor is a fictional account of the relationship between AP reporter Lorena Hickok (Hick) and Eleanor Roosevelt. It is written from the perspective of Hick. There is so much love and heartbreak as the depression, FDRs governorship and presidency and WWII are told through the experiences of Hick. The author, Susan Wittig Albert, is the creator of the China Bayles mystery novels (24 and counting). I love her voice. I recommend this book to anyone needing a good cry. Keep the tissues handy, you will need them.