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Nancy Horan

Author of Loving Frank

3 Works 5,596 Members 324 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Nancy Horan is the author of novels such as Loving Frank and Under the Wide and Starry Sky. Her first title, Loving Frank, is about Mamah Borthwick and her relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright which earned her the 2009 Jame Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Histrical Fiction by the Society of American show more Historians. Before becoming a recognized author Nancy Horan was a middle school English teacher and a freelance journalist. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the names: Nancy Horan, by Nancy Horan

Image credit: Photo by Lilithcat, taken at Printers Row Book Fair, 7 June 2008.

Works by Nancy Horan

Loving Frank (2007) 4,446 copies
Under the Wide and Starry Sky (2014) 1,070 copies


2008 (27) 2009 (28) 2014 (22) 20th century (17) adultery (43) Architects (19) architecture (173) art (19) audio (27) audiobook (17) biographical fiction (62) biography (41) book club (79) book group (22) Chicago (60) ebook (25) feminism (57) fiction (464) Frank Lloyd Wright (283) historical (36) historical fiction (447) Kindle (28) literary fiction (21) love (26) love affair (19) Mamah Borthwick Cheney (68) marriage (21) murder (29) novel (57) own (22) read (54) relationships (22) Robert Louis Stevenson (72) romance (62) Samoa (29) Taliesin (26) to-read (301) unread (26) USA (16) Wisconsin (30)

Common Knowledge

Places of residence
Oak Park, Illinois, USA
Washington, USA
Lisa Bankoff



I liked this novel, which is centered on Springfield, Illinois, from the 1840s to early 1900s, and the community which called that place home. Abraham Lincoln looms large within this community, but this portrayal is somewhat different as the reader sees him interacting with a range of people and grappling with struggles at home. Those people, who include immigrants, Underground Railroad operators, free Blacks, and more form a key piece of this novel, which is focused on community. There is also a disheartening piece, as the novel traces the history of the debates leading up to the Civil War to the race riots which became a feature of American life in the early 20th century.… (more)
wagner.sarah35 | 4 other reviews | Dec 23, 2023 |
I was interested to read this as I'm heading to Chicago soon and viewing a number of FLW buildings. This book fictionalised the relationship between FLW and Mamah Borthwick. While the book was interesting it didn't paint FLW in the best light. A flawed genius I would say. I did find the book interesting but wouldn't rate it as a brilliant book.
secondhandrose | 206 other reviews | Oct 31, 2023 |
Very,very moving story about the perniciousness of racism in America. Starts off as not the best written book but by the end the horror and disgust is so overwhelming that It becomes a very important book to read.
alans | 4 other reviews | Sep 8, 2023 |
This book of historical fiction was an enjoyable read that gives us an insight into Abraham Lincoln's life in Springfield, Illinois, the political machinations of the time and the growing divide between the Northern States and the Southern States. We witness these events through the eyes of a young Portuguese religious refugee immigrant from Madeira named Ana Ferreira, who goes to work in the Lincoln household after her education is complete.

Through Ana's eyes we learn of the dangers of the Underground Railroad that Ana and her friend witness firsthand. The accounts of the atrocities committed at the hands of the slave hunters and the terrors wreaked by the Ku Klux Klan who ruled the area prior to the Civil War is hard to read; but it is very important to know the history and horrors of the slave trade.

We learn much about the inhabitants and logistics of Springfield as well, as Ana becomes familiar with her new town. Ana's family life is weaved into the storyline throughout....Her father who immediately embraces his new town and country, her mother who over time grows more and more depressed because her heart is still in her homeland, culture and religion of her childhood; before she and her husband converted to the new religion that got them expelled from the country that her heart will always remain in.

Ana comes to know the Lincolns very well, as she watches over their boys and does household chores. Abraham Lincoln is rarely home, but when he is the house if full of the laughter of he and the boys. He is often gone on long circuit rides as a lawyer at first, and later, of course, on the campaign trail. Mary Lincoln is a very complex person, as Ana discovers. She is kind but often unreasonable and she and Abraham have many quarrels. Some say Abraham is gone from home so much because he simply can't stand her shrewlike behavior. Ultimately, she is faced with one tragedy after another; and I can't imagine anyone holding up under such devastation.

Ana then marries the love of her life, and at the same time Abraham Lincoln has just been elected President of the United States. Quickly the Southern States secede from the Union and the country is embroiled in a bitter, bloody war. The war takes a huge toll on the Lincolns, as it does on everyone, Union and Confederate alike. Families are torn apart and the toll keeps mounting. Ana's husband and brother both join the troops and she and her family watch in helpless anguish as the war rages on.

Although the hope was that President LIncoln's Emancipaton Proclamation and the North's winning of the Civil War would set the country on a course of healing and reunification, and true, permanent civil rights for all; we discover in the book's final chapters that this was not the case. Of course, we know that already; but it is still painful to follow Ana's path to this realization.

Ana is the perfect heroine for this story, as she is very astute and likeable and easy to grow close to. Through thick and thin, the good and the evil, she stays her course and lands on her feet.
… (more)
shirfire218 | 4 other reviews | Aug 2, 2023 |



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