My book club hated this book. They were so busy scorning it, and the writing of Ellen Feldman, that I was almost embarrassed to say that I liked it. There’s something about illicit relationships that draws me to study them like a moth to a flame.
They rarely work out. Even with players as powerful as presidents, how can one leave his wife for his love? Certainly Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted to leave Eleanor for Lucy Mercer. Or, so he said. But, how would he then have become president once he was divorced? The country could not have withstood such a disgrace from their leader-to-be in the 1920s.
That didn’t stop them from loving each other, though. Lucy went on to marry Winty Rutherford, and have six children of her own, while Franklin led America through the turbulent times of the Great Depression and WWII. After Winty died, she continued to see Franklin all the way up to his death at 63 years of age.
You can feel sorry for Eleanor. You can shake your head at the morals of men and their staff. But after reading Lucy you can’t deny the profound love she felt for Franklin from the time that she was 24 until the day she died.
Which, I believe, he also felt for her.