Lucky Us Summary & Study Guide

Amy Bloom
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Lucky Us Summary & Study Guide Description

Lucky Us Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Lucky Us by Amy Bloom.

Lucky Us, a National Book nomination by Amy Bloom, tells the story of Eva Logan Acton, whose life is defined by its losses. When she is twelve her mother abandons her on the porch of her sometimes father, Edgar Acton. She never returns. Eva stays with her father and her half sister, Iris, even though her father never acknowledges her as his daughter.

When Eva is fourteen, she and Iris leave home and head for Hollywood where Iris is sure she can be a Hollywood movie star. Eva goes with her because she doesn't believe she has a choice. Once there, however, Iris's naivety works against her. She is caught in a compromising situation with a well known actress. Her career comes to a grinding halt. Penniless, the girls are forced to accept their father's help and the assistance of a kind, homosexual makeup artist from MGM as the four of them make their way to New York City.

Once in New York, Edgar takes a job as a butler, and Iris pretends she is qualified to be a governess. They work for the Torellis family. The Torellis have a carriage house, and everyone is able to live comfortably there. Francisco, the makeup artist, has sisters who work in the city. He helps Eva get a part time job there sweeping the floors. While there, Eva asks if she can do tarot card readings for people. The sisters, Carnie and Bea, agree.

Iris meets the Torellis' cook whose name is Irene (Reenie for short), and falls in love with her. Unfortunately, even though Reenie returns her affections, she is already married to Gus. Knowing that Reenie takes her marriage vows seriously and won't divorce, Iris calls up the local police to tell them that Gus is a German spy. Since World War II has broken out, these types of reports are taken seriously. Gus is arrested and placed into an internment camp. Reenie, free from Gus, pursues a relationship with Iris.

Iris knows that Reenie wants children, so she enlists Eva's help in procuring a child for her. Eva and Iris abduct a four year old boy, whom they name Danny. They take him home to Reenie. The woman is thrilled with Danny. They don't tell Reenie how they obtained Danny.

Meanwhile, Edgar has met and fallen for a lounge blues singer named Clara Williams. Clara has impetigo. As a result, she can pass for being white if she so chooses. Edgar becomes ill, and they learn that he has a brain tumor. When he becomes bed ridden, Clara takes care of him. Then, Clara begins to see another man, and she no longer has time to help with Edgar.

Reenie and Iris argue late one night, and a fire starts in the kitchen of the carriage house where they live. Reenie is engulfed in flames and dies from her wounds. Iris, who tried to smother the flames with her body, is seriously injured. Eva is left to raise Danny on her own. She is also the caregiver for her bedridden father. Eva begins to get more clients for her tarot readings. Eva meets Ted Rosen, an FBI agent who is investigating the disappearance of a judge. Eva works with another psychic, a real one, to help run down leads for the detective. He pulls Eva aside to tell her that she is not in the right profession and that the right one is about to happen. He tells her to have the courage to pursue it.

Meanwhile, Gus has been deported to Germany, and he has assumed a deceased friend's name and taken the friend's family as his own for cover. Gus is the only one in the family to survive a bomb attack. After the war he returns to America, and he tries to find Eva whom he's written numerous letters to over the years. Unsuccessful in his efforts, Edgar dies.

Clara leaves, and Danny writes a hate letter to Iris. Eva finally tracks down her birth mother, who is posing as a divine healer in a temple. Eva confronts her with the abandonment, and Hazel rationalizes that it was the best thing that could have happened to Eva. Eva tells her to go to hell. Meanwhile, Iris writes from London that her burns have healed but that she has no intention of returning to the United States. Eva is now fully responsible for Danny.

The Torellis tell them that they have to move out. Clara leaves for Detroit with Ozzie, her new husband. Mrs. Torellis helps Eva and Danny find a new home and gives them the first two months' rent to help out. While cooking breakfast in the kitchen for them, Francisco eats a sausage and begins to choke. Eva calls the doctor who tells her that she must perform a tracheotomy on the man. She does and later the doctor tells her that she should go into medicine. She remembers what Henk had told her so many months before and begins applying to medical school.

Meanwhile, Gus has located Eva and Danny, but he is afraid of what they will say to him. He also knows now that the reason he wrote only to Eva while he was away in Germany was because he was in love with her, not Reenie. He doesn't know that Reenie is dead. Finally, he talks to Eva, who tells him about Reenie. They part but have dinner a few weeks later. They eventually declare their love for each other, Eva is accepted into medical school. Iris sends a long, sincere letter apologizing for her actions. Eva finally learns that she can love and be loved.

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