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Loving Frank

by Nancy Horan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4452072,562 (3.66)245
Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current.

So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives.

In this ambitious debut novel, fact and fiction blend together brilliantly. While scholars have largely relegated Mamah to a footnote in the life of America‚??s greatest architect, author Nancy Horan gives full weight to their dramatic love story and illuminates Cheney‚??s profound influence on Wright.

Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual. Horan‚??s Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world. Mamah‚??s is an unforgettable journey marked by choices that reshape her notions of love and responsibility, leading inexorably ultimately lead to this novel‚??s stunning conclusion.

Elegantly written and remarkably rich in detail, Loving Frank is a fitting tribute to a courageous woman, a national icon, and their timeless love story.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Nancy Horan's Under the Wide and Starry Sky.

Advance praise for Loving Frank:

‚??Loving Frank is one of those novels that takes over your life. It‚??s mesmerizing and fascinating‚??filled with complex characters, deep passions, tactile descriptions of astonishing architecture, and the colorful immediacy of daily life a hundred years ago‚??all gathered into a story that unfolds with riveting urgency.‚?Ě
‚??Lauren Belfer, author of City of Light

‚??This graceful, assured first novel tells the remarkable story of the long-lived affair between Frank Lloyd Wright, a passionate and impossible figure, and Mamah Cheney, a married woman whom Wright beguiled and led beyond the restraint of convention. It is engrossing, provocative reading.‚?Ě
‚??‚??Scott Turow

‚??It takes great courage to write a novel about historical people, and in particular to give voice to someone as mythic as Frank Lloyd Wright. This beautifully written novel about Mamah Cheney and Frank Lloyd Wright‚??s love affair is vivid and intelligent, unsentimental and compassionate.‚?Ě
‚??‚??Jane Hamilton

‚??I admire this novel, adore this novel, for so many reasons: The intelligence and lyricism of the prose. The attention to period detail. The epic proportions of this most fascinating love story. Mamah Cheney has been in my head and heart and soul since reading this
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» See also 245 mentions

English (202)  French (2)  German (1)  All languages (205)
Showing 1-5 of 202 (next | show all)
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 | Oct 31, 2023 |
Thoroughly enjoyable read that highlights the life of one woman in the early 20th century who was torn between being a wife and mother or spending her life with the brilliant, volatile man she fell in love with, Frank Lloyd Wright, and pursuing her own intellectual interests. This book is extremely well written and propels you into the moral dilemmas faced by Wright's mistress. ( )
  Anita_Pomerantz | Mar 23, 2023 |
I appreciated learning about the lives of both Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick, his partner until her murder at age 45. The times, attitudes, and prejudices were presented well. I would have liked more background on the villain, as I believe there are many of the same issues today as there were in the U.S. in 1914. The feminist ideas were also an interesting history of the movement both here and abroad. ( )
  suesbooks | Jan 1, 2023 |
bookclub book
  PatLibrary123 | Aug 9, 2022 |
Fascinating story. Even though I have admired Frank Lloyd Wright I never knew the sad story of Taliesin. ( )
  PattyLee | Dec 14, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 202 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Horan, Nancyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bean, JoyceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
One lives but once in the world.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goeth
Dedication
For Kevin
First words
It was Edwin who wanted to build a new house.
Quotations
Mamah describes Wright as someone who, "had come to mistake his gift for the whole of his character."
"The measure of a man's culture is the measure of his appreciation," he said.
"I'm like the truck of a cactus, I suppose," she told him. "I take in a dose of culture and time with friends, then I retreat and go live on it for a while until I get thirsty again. It's not good to live so much inside oneself. It's a self-imposed exile, really. It make you different."
Tell me everything. He might as well have said, "Take off your dress."
"Oh, I was just the right age then, I think. Smarter than I ever was before or since."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current.

So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives.

In this ambitious debut novel, fact and fiction blend together brilliantly. While scholars have largely relegated Mamah to a footnote in the life of America‚??s greatest architect, author Nancy Horan gives full weight to their dramatic love story and illuminates Cheney‚??s profound influence on Wright.

Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual. Horan‚??s Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world. Mamah‚??s is an unforgettable journey marked by choices that reshape her notions of love and responsibility, leading inexorably ultimately lead to this novel‚??s stunning conclusion.

Elegantly written and remarkably rich in detail, Loving Frank is a fitting tribute to a courageous woman, a national icon, and their timeless love story.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Nancy Horan's Under the Wide and Starry Sky.

Advance praise for Loving Frank:

‚??Loving Frank is one of those novels that takes over your life. It‚??s mesmerizing and fascinating‚??filled with complex characters, deep passions, tactile descriptions of astonishing architecture, and the colorful immediacy of daily life a hundred years ago‚??all gathered into a story that unfolds with riveting urgency.‚?Ě
‚??Lauren Belfer, author of City of Light

‚??This graceful, assured first novel tells the remarkable story of the long-lived affair between Frank Lloyd Wright, a passionate and impossible figure, and Mamah Cheney, a married woman whom Wright beguiled and led beyond the restraint of convention. It is engrossing, provocative reading.‚?Ě
‚??‚??Scott Turow

‚??It takes great courage to write a novel about historical people, and in particular to give voice to someone as mythic as Frank Lloyd Wright. This beautifully written novel about Mamah Cheney and Frank Lloyd Wright‚??s love affair is vivid and intelligent, unsentimental and compassionate.‚?Ě
‚??‚??Jane Hamilton

‚??I admire this novel, adore this novel, for so many reasons: The intelligence and lyricism of the prose. The attention to period detail. The epic proportions of this most fascinating love story. Mamah Cheney has been in my head and heart and soul since reading this

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