Format Paperback
Publication Date 09/10/19
ISBN 9781643132266
Trim Size / Pages 8.8 x 5.6 in / 336

Request a review copy or press kit

Undiscovered Country

A Novel Inspired by the Lives of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Kelly O'Connor McNees

An extraordinary novel portraying one of the greatest untold love stories in American politics.

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.

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.

Buy it now in print:

Buy it now in ebook:

Endorsements & Reviews

“The adept historical novelist Kelly O’Connor McNees chronicles this daring relationship from Lorena Hickok’s point of view. McNees’s more politically detailed fiction has Hick’s ultimate solitude, and her disappointment, at its heart. McNees takes us through the women’s headiest romantic period, celebrating an Eleanor Roosevelt who is warm and affectionate.” New York Times Book Review
“Kelly O’Connor McNees’s compassion for her characters and their exceptional situation make for a compelling tale. I ached for Hick, and rooted for her, and am so glad to see her getting her due.” Therese Anne Fowler, author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
“The combination of sympathetic yet flawed characters, rich atmospheric details about Depression-era America, and lyrical writing make this one a winner.” Library Journal (starred)