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Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
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Loving Frank

by Nancy Horan

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3,3471721,622 (3.7)199
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Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
A beautifully written fictional account of the affair between the celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney, the wife of one of his clients. Covering the period from Wright's exile from Oak Park up to the horrific incident at Taliesin. Highly recommended. ( )
  garnet_vavasseur | Mar 24, 2014 |
This was a birthday gift from a friend who knows i love Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and that i am an avid fiction reader. And away i went.....realizing immediately that i knew virtually nothing about FLW beyond his buildings.....and for that i am grateful.....the book's impact would have been greatly diminished had i known more of his story. the book is based on fact. So, as the book progressed, i was constantly torn as to whether i was to like the main characters, feel sorry for the main characters or be annoyed and frustrated with them.....i could never quite figure out where it was headed (again, my ignorance...). It is more or less of a 'chick-book' love story with doses of early 1900's feminist activism, larger-than-life egos, infidelities and lots of day-to-day life in that era. But the ending was completely shockingly unexpected for me (my ignorance yet again!) and thus saved it from a lower rating than i gave it. Who knew??? And I occasionally still think about it weeks later, certainly a positive for any book. So, in spite of the below 4-star rating, i do recommend the book to any fans of his architecture....but DO NOT study up prior to reading this if you want the best experience. Oh, and one MAJOR pet peeve of mine....the main female character's name is 'Mamah'.........pronounced how???? well my mind chose one way to pronounce it to myself, and then halfway through the book, the pronunciation was clarified.....DIFFERENT from mine!!!!! GRRRRRRR>>>>>either tell us in the beginning or leave us be for goodness sake!!! btw------to save you all.......it is 'May'-muh' ( )
  jeffome | Nov 28, 2013 |
Finished. This is a must read! I eagerly await Horan's next book. I highly recommend reading Drennan's non-fictional [book:Death in a Prairie House: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Murders] concomitantly. It's not the best written, but provides fascinating detail to supplement Horan's work.

This a really an excellent fictional biography of the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mahma, a woman who had a profound influence on his life and work. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Great look at early feminism and what it means to be a woman, a wife and a mom . . . not a lot has changed or the biographer missed her mark. ( )
  Micalhut | Aug 20, 2013 |
You don't have to know much about Frank Lloyd Wright or be "into" architecture to enjoy this book which is a fascinating look at the history and culture in the early 1900's as well as a complicated love story with the added bonus of a surprising ending. Although I didn't find any of the characters to be especially likeable, the story of their interactions is riveting. I'm sure FLW was brilliant and this book reflects both his brilliance as well as his very egoistical and conflicted personal side.

It is Mamah's character that is the most interesting. She is embracing the emerging women's movement and feels that she is seeking freedom from the traditional role of a woman; however, her life revolves around FLW. Everything she does from leaving her children, moving to Europe, moving back to Wisconsin, living in a house with no heat doesn't seem like freedom but rather a warped dependence and need to be with someone greater than herself. At one time, Mamah finds herself outside in deep snow where she is "knee-deep and snow blind" -- pretty much sums up her life experience.

This book is so well written that one can easily envision the sometimes beautiful and sometimes bleak settings and one can feel the tension between the characters come right off the page. I read this for a book club and our discussion was one of the best ever; I would highly recommend this book. It is not only a book about FLW, but also a book about society's view of women during this time period. ( )
1 vote maryreinert | Aug 17, 2013 |
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One lives but once in the world.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goeth
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For Kevin
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It was Edwin who wanted to build a new house.
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Mamah describes Wright as someone who, "had come to mistake his gift for the whole of his character."
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345495004, Paperback)

Amazon Significant Seven, August 2007: It's a rare treasure to find a historically imagined novel that is at once fully versed in the facts and unafraid of weaving those truths into a story that dares to explore the unanswered questions. Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney's love story is--as many early reviews of Loving Frank have noted--little-known and often dismissed as scandal. In Nancy Horan's skillful hands, however, what you get is two fully realized people, entirely, irrepressibly, in love. Together, Frank and Mamah are a wholly modern portrait, and while you can easily imagine them in the here and now, it's their presence in the world of early 20th century America that shades how authentic and, ultimately, tragic their story is. Mamah's bright, earnest spirit is particularly tender in the context of her time and place, which afforded her little opportunity to realize the intellectual life for which she yearned. Loving Frank is a remarkable literary achievement, tenderly acute and even-handed in even the most heartbreaking moments, and an auspicious debut from a writer to watch. --Anne Bartholomew

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Fact and fiction blend in a historical novel that chronicles the relationship between seminal architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney, from their meeting, when they were each married to another, to the clandestine affair that shocked Chicago society.… (more)

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