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Loving Frank: A Novel by Nancy Horan
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Loving Frank: A Novel

by Nancy Horan

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English (184)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (186)
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
may 2013
  MatkaBoska | Jun 15, 2016 |
Loving Frank – Nancy Horan –narrated by Joyce Bean
4 stars
Loving Frank is a detailed historical fiction about the love affair of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney. It is Mamah’s story of the advent of the affair and its life-changing consequences. Nancy Horan has done a devastating job of portraying Mamah’s struggle for self- realization and her grief at the overwhelming consequences of her decisions. It isn’t a happy story. The love affair made headline news in a time when divorce was very much a social scandal. Frank Lloyd Wright was a genius, but he was also selfish, self- involved and completely irresponsible in his spending habits. The sad thing about reading this story was that I couldn’t even hope for an eventually happy outcome. I knew the history of the tragic ending.
It was, however, a very interesting book. It gave me insight into the “woman” movement in America and Europe. Mamah Borthwick was an extremely educated woman. She spoke 4 or 5 languages and had a master’s degree, but as a divorced woman she was unable to earn a living because no one would hire her.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
This was another one of those books where I had a hard time reading the book because I just did not like the characters. As a mother, I cannot imagine ever choosing a man over my children. I felt like Mamah may have chosen a different life as much as a different man. The middle section of the book really drags but the ending is gripping, even when you already know how the story will end. Ms. Horan has clearly done a lot of research; I wish her editor had done a lot more editing. Not everything you learn needs to be included in a book. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
This was another one of those books where I had a hard time reading the book because I just did not like the characters. As a mother, I cannot imagine ever choosing a man over my children. I felt like Mamah may have chosen a different life as much as a different man. The middle section of the book really drags but the ending is gripping, even when you already know how the story will end. Ms. Horan has clearly done a lot of research; I wish her editor had done a lot more editing. Not everything you learn needs to be included in a book. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
Horan's historical fiction novel does a nice job of portraying the somewhat scandalous life of Mamah Borthwick Chaney, a bright , educated mother of two. When she and her husband hire a young Frank Lloyd Wright to design their house in Oak Park, Illinois, there was little chance of knowing the love that would blossom between he and Mamah. Note to self, don't leave your unhappy, bored wife home alone with a fascinating charismatic architect... Their belief that they were meant for each other enabled them to defy convention as they escape to Europe, both leaving their spouses and children to cope. While Wright works on his designs, Mamah begins to explore her new world. Horan's narrative also shows us the influences that Mamah met, including the feminist Ellen Key, who helped her to convince herself that her love for FLW was more important that her responsibility to her family. It was interesting the way their affair was scandalized in the papers, and Horan did a nice job of intertwining real documents with the narrative she created. We also get a good portrait of the architect himself, his genius and his flaws. He had a wonderful vision of how homes should compliment the land, organic in nature to the surroundings. He was also terrible with money, berated his workers and an egotistical perfectionist. There are years of true happiness that are shared, especially after he builds Taliesin for Mamah in southern Wisconsin. After some years Mamah has acquired a divorce, her husband remarried and her children come to visit her during the summers. All seems headed for a happy ending as Frank just finishes the Midway Gardens in Chicago and is about to win the contract for the Imperial Hotel in Japan. But alas this is a tragic story; the truth often is.

Mamah was tired of living on the outskirts of life and her affair with Frank Lloyd Wright enabled her to find many outlets for her intellectual passions. "I have been standing on the side o life, watching if float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current." It's hard to not read about the couple while reading the book, but I would caution the reader from that indulgence. It is also hard to be sympathetic to these two lovers who leave behind eight children between them, but the author is not asking for our sympathy, she is presenting a love of two unusual people and we are fortunate to share in her insights. ( )
  novelcommentary | Mar 23, 2016 |
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Epigraph
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 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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