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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Amy Bloom Narrator: Alicyn Packard Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“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. 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’ 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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
     
  • [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
  • “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, New York Times bestselling author

  • A fireworks display of delightful, if sometimes confounding, surprises . . . wildly twisting . . . spryly spontaneous. The Wall Street Journal
     
  • 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, New York Times bestselling author

  • “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. But that opening sets off a string of serial adventures, and it’s not until the book ends that all the pieces fall into place. Ms. Bloom does not write deep-dish, straightforward yarns for readers who enjoy conventional drama. 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.”

    New York Times

  • “Through short vignettes of and letters from the Acton sisters as well as a growing cast of tragicomic characters, we get a jazzy novel about the WWII era. Bloom is particularly good at recreating the idioms of the time…and both her style and her story have a subversive, iconoclastic quality. This is not a very long novel, but with its expansive understanding of human nature and of history, it covers a lot of ground.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Like her previous novel, Away, Bloom’s new book is an entertaining, moving, quasi-historical escapade featuring a plucky girl who graduates from the school of hard knocks, where she learns to forge her own luck. Set during World War II, twenty years after Away, Bloom’s latest testament to the importance of even the most unconventional, cobbled-together, makeshift sort of family is populated with what we’ve come to expect from her—a motley assortment of vibrant characters, mainly outcasts and displaced persons who roll with punch after punch after punch. These are people who repeatedly reinvent themselves and—here’s the good luck—miraculously find each other.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “Two teenaged half-sisters make their way through WWII-era America in Bloom’s imaginative romp…Bloom transforms history to create a story of stunning invention, with characters that readers will feel lucky to encounter.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “For her latest, Bloom offers something 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, it’s not for those who have taken a stand against offbeat characters, but 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)

  • “There is a gossip-column scandal and a cross-country road trip, an abducted orphan and an accused spy, and more than a couple of masquerades, but everything here is fresh; Bloom’s cannonballs read like placid ripples. Told partially from Eva’s perspective, and with epistolary interludes over the novel’s 1939–49 span, Eva’s world is one of endless opportunities for reinvention—and redemption—if one only takes them. With a spare and trusting style, Bloom invites readers to fill the spaces her pretty prose allows, with true and beautiful results.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “On a journey from Ohio to Hollywood to Long Island to London in the 1940s, a couple of plucky half sisters continually reinvent themselves with the help of an unconventional assortment of friends and relatives…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)

  • “Narrator Alicyn Packard’s performance perfectly keys into the emotional drama of this story of love and loss, betrayal, and unexpected friendships. However, her weak characterizations sometimes leave listeners scrambling to remember the ages and backgrounds of the people who become important to the sisters…Despite these flaws, listeners will enjoy Packard’s lively narration.”

    AudioFile

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week for July 2014
  • One of Barnes & Noble's Biggest Books of July 2014
  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick for August 2014
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice August 2014
  • An August 2014 LibraryReads Pick
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