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Undiscovered country : a novel inspired by the lives of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Available copies

  • 2 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 2 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 2 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Bagley Public Library MCN (Text) 33500012660171 Main Available -
Detroit Lakes Public Library MCN (Text) 33500012660163 Main Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 1681776790
  • ISBN: 9781681776798
  • Physical Description: 284 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First Pegasus Books hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books, [2018]

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.: In 1932, New York City, top reporter Lorena "Hick" Hickok starts each day with a front page byline--and finishes it swigging bourbon and planning her next big scoop. But an assignment to cover FDR's campaign--and write a feature on his wife, Eleanor--turns Hick's hard-won independent life on its ear. Soon her work, and the secret entanglement with the new first lady, will take her from New York and Washington to Scotts Run, West Virginia, where impoverished coal miners' families wait in fear that the New Deal's promised hope will pass them by. Together, Eleanor and Hick imagine how the new town of Arthurdale could change the fate of hundreds of lives. But doing what is right does not come cheap, and Hick will pay in ways she never could have imagined. Undiscovered Country artfully mixes fact and fiction to portray the intense relationship between this unlikely pair. Inspired by the historical record, including the more than three thousand letters Hick and Eleanor exchanged over a span of thirty years, McNees tells this story through Hick's tough, tender, and unforgettable voice. A remarkable portrait of Depression-era America, this novel tells the poignant story of how a love that was forced to remain hidden nevertheless changed history.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2018 March #2
    The relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok, as revealed in the thousands of letters they exchanged over three decades, inspired Amy Bloom to fictionalize their bond in White Houses (2018); now McNees (The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, 2010) takes a turn. Her novel, set in 1932 and 1933, is told from Hickok's perspective. An ace reporter, "Hick" rushes headlong into romance with the First Lady she is assigned to cover. When their affair costs Hick her journalistic objectivity, self-respect, and beloved job, Eleanor secures work for her with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which has Hick traveling the country, attempting to improve the lives of America's poorest. McNees has given the pudgy, gravelly, alcoholic Hick a genuine voice both sympathetic and sad. This is a damaged woman in an unequal love story with the foregone conclusion that Hick's longing will not be matched by her preoccupied lover. McNees' convincing tale illuminates a difficult time for Americans and a woman following her heart, no matter the cost, in a world that had no place for a person like her. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Kelly O'Connor McNees is the critically acclaimed author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, In Need of a Good Wife, and The Island of Doves. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.


Subject: Roosevelt, Eleanor 1884-1962 Fiction
Roosevelt, Eleanor 1884-1962 Correspondence Fiction
Roosevelt, Eleanor 1884-1962 Friends and associates Fiction
Hickok, Lorena A Fiction
Reporters and reporting Women Fiction
Coal miners West Virginia Fiction
New Deal, 1933-1939 Fiction
Presidents' spouses United States Correspondence Fiction
Female friendship Fiction
Presidents United States Election 1932 Fiction
United States Politics and government 1933-1945 Fiction
Genre: Love stories.
Biographical fiction.
Historical fiction.
Search Results Showing Item 1 of 1 Preferred library: Lake Agassiz Regional Library?

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