Reading guide for White Houses by Amy Bloom

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

White Houses

by Amy Bloom

White Houses by Amy Bloom X
White Houses by Amy Bloom
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2018, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2018, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kate Braithwaite
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. White Houses is a fictional account of relationships and events that happened from the 1930s to the '60s. Did any historical information in the book interest or surprise you? Did you know anything about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the affair between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok, or FDR's affairs before reading the book?
  2. Lorena had a very difficult childhood, filled with poverty, violence, and uncertainty. Eleanor's childhood was also fraught with violence and uncertainty, but she still had every opportunity and comfort, because she was a Roosevelt. How do you think their backgrounds affected who they became as adults, in both their personal and professional lives? Did it affect the dynamics of their relationship?
  3. Lorena's short time in the circus introduced us to many unforgettable and unique characters on the outskirts of society. Who do you think Lorena most related to? Did you relate to any of them?
  4. Lorena and Eleanor shared a love that was taboo because of how people viewed sexuality at the time and Eleanor's high-profile marriage. How do you think their love story would play out today? Do you think it would have ended differently, or the same?
  5. Lorena and FDR shared a complicated relationship—he was her president and her friend, and also her lover's husband. How did this affect Lorena's relationship with FDR, and her relationship with Eleanor?
  6. White Houses is told from Lorena's perspective—a woman on the sidelines of history who was literally cropped out of photos. How do you think her view of history differs from how other people viewed it? How do you think Eleanor and Lorena's story would have changed if it was told from the perspective of Eleanor, or FDR, or anyone else who worked at the White House?
  7. Eleanor Roosevelt was a groundbreaking First Lady, a politician and activist in her own right, who even publically disagreed with her husband's politics from time to time. Were you familiar with Eleanor Roosevelt's work before this novel? Were you surprised by her politics and behavior, given the period she lived in? What could women today learn from her approach to politics?
  8. Before covering the White House, Lorena established herself as a respected journalist. How does her relationship with Eleanor affect her professional aspirations? Do you agree with the decisions she makes regarding her career?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Random House. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hungry
    Hungry
    by Jeff Gordinier
    Noma, René Redzepi's restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, has widely been considered among the ...
  • Book Jacket: With the Fire on High
    With the Fire on High
    by Elizabeth Acevedo
    From Like Water for Chocolate to Ratatouille, writers have recognized the power ...
  • Book Jacket: Lanny
    Lanny
    by Max Porter
    At once beautifully poignant and hauntingly grotesque, Max Porter's Lanny is like an unexpected ...
  • Book Jacket
    Call Me American
    by Abdi Nor Iftin
    As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Beirut Hellfire Society
    by Rawi Hage

    A searing and visionary novel set in 1970s Beirut that asks what it means to live through war.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Guest Book
by Sarah Blake

"An American epic in the truest sense…"
Entertainment Weekly

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win In the Full Light of the Sun

New from Clare Clark!

"Evocative prose and excellent pacing make this fine historical a must-read for art history buffs."
- Publishers Weekly

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A A A Day K T D A

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.