Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lorena "Hick" Hickok was an AP journalist who covered Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt's wife Eleanor in the late 20s. She met the first lady of New York and continued to cover her until Roosevelt won the 1932 Presidential election. Hick and Eleanor became steadfast friends and many historians believe that they had a deeply intimate relationship. Loving Eleanor is the fictionalized account of that relationship from Hick's perspective based on over three thousand letters written by Hick and Eleanor throughout their friendship. This book shows Eleanor in a way most people have never thought of her. Many know about FDR's philandering ways, but many did not realize that Eleanor was a deeply loving person, who may have also had several affairs herself with both men and women. She was devoted to family, friends, and domestic causes. She was definitely her own woman.
The book is really from Hick's point of view but the reader will definitely get a sense of what Eleanor was like on a personal basis, away from politics. I found Hick to be a bit whiny and selfish who didn't always seem to understand that she had a friendship / relationship with the First Lady of the United States and a woman that had her own agenda in life. They were likely very much alike, so much so that it caused occasional riffs. I'm not sure I cared so much about some of the intimate details, but I did like getting to see a different side of Eleanor than I had known / realized. I've always admired Eleanor's work and spirit and this has caused me to want to read more about her.
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