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Loving Frank: A Novel by Nancy Horan

Loving Frank: A Novel (edition 2008)

by Nancy Horan

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3,4581761,553 (3.69)206
Title:Loving Frank: A Novel
Authors:Nancy Horan
Info:Ballantine Books (2008), Edition: X, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Historical Fiction

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Loving Frank: A Novel by Nancy Horan


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Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
I usually enjoy reading historical fiction but found this long-winded and not very interesting. I mistakenly read how the book would end so the element of surprise was gone even though the actual fate of these characters was quite shocking. I never did understand the attraction as it didn't do a good job of developing the love story. The old adage that life is stranger than fiction is lost on this novel. Even though the lifesytle was shocking for that time period, I thought it was lacking in feeling and depth. ( )
  critterbug | Jul 21, 2015 |
I knew who Frank Lloyd Wright was - but just barely. My mom took me on a birthday adventure to Cedar Rock house in Quasqueton, Iowa a few years back. It was an interesting place - full of straight lines and dark corners and very beautiful. And I remember reading a young adult book, The Wright 3, a mystery in a Wright house in Chicago

So it was with that little bit of knowledge that I read this book. The story is fictionish. I mean it is built on the actual story - you can research the events. I think this famous story makes it a bit tricky to create a believable ficitionalized story -straying from the known facts would be so obvious. Especially when the truth of this story reads like fiction! But, I sort of wish the story had moved a long a bit faster. Some parts drug a bit.

Loving Frank tells the love story of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick. Both are married with numerous children between them. Frank had been the architet for the house that Mamah and her husband built. After the house was built and it was time to make plans to add the garage - Frank and Mamah gave in to their attraction.

This was a long time ago - and although Mamah's husband, Edwin, eventually grants her a divorce. Frank's wife, Cathrine refuses to release him from their marriage and their eight children. So they live a tough life of never fitting in to the society that Frank creates in his houses. Living in both Europe and the US. Withstanding the scandal that rocks Frank's career and his poor management style.

Eventually Frank convinces his mother to give him land in Wisconsin and he builds Taliesin for Mamah. And it is there, in the Wisconsin countryside that the real tragedy in this story happens.

I found myself not wanting to fall for Frank. He was an intense man - maybe manic depressive. Watching Mamah Borthwick give in to her better instincts was actually a bit difficult. Edwin seemed to be a simple man who loved her deeply - Frank provided her intellect with the sparring and stimulation she longed for, and giving in to that longing caused her to destroy her family - loosing children. Eventually she found peace - but it took a LONG time!

This is an intriguing story - but slow moving and a bit to 'worshipful' of Wright for my taste. ( )
  kebets | Jun 7, 2015 |
Overly slow story telling. I was eager to read this biographical novel on Frank Lloyd Wright! Amazing architect! That he found love in an adulterous relationship is not as scandelous today as it was 100 years ago. I wasn't disheartened in my opinion of him because of this. Unfortunately, this story, few in page count, was long in the tooth, so to say. The last 10 pages were dramatically the best, but didn't make up for the first 360 slow-paced, drawn out build-up, inconcise, not to the point, with too much hemming and hawing. ( )
  olongbourn | Mar 1, 2015 |
This historical fiction novel is a mixture of fact and fiction. Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney were both married when they meet and fell in love. After conducting a clandestine affair, the couple scandalized Oak Park society by leaving their families and running off to Europe to live together. Although the couple eventually returned to Wisconsin, the scandal continued to hound their lives. The story focuses on Mamah who became an early feminist and how loving Frank changed her life.
  ktoonen | Dec 13, 2014 |
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 |
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One lives but once in the world.
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It was Edwin who wanted to build a new house.
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:58 -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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