Sunday, April 6, 2014

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

As most of you know by now, I am a great fan of the trend to Novelise history and persons of historical consequence, I think that it opens up history in a way that is more relevant to modern day needs and encourages people to read what they might not.
Frank Lloyd Wright is an Architect of huge renown both in the times he lived and equally in our time.
He was a tricky, complicated and very gifted man who tipped both his and Mamah Cheney's lives on end when he allowed a mutual infatuation to become much more, scandalising the society they lived in and rupturing their families.
It is this relationship that is the focus of Horan's well researched and readable book. A love story that should never have been, Wright was married with children,Cheney likewise...Cheney's husband convinced her to engage Wright to design their new home and signed off unwittingly on his marriage.
Mamah's love for and devotion to Wright was unfailing, his need for her was equal but the question of weather Wright ever loved anyone as completely as himself remains unanswered, he was often thoughtless, uncaring and dismissive of her concerns but he did endeavour to meet her needs even if he failed completely on occasion and he often put them in situations that resulted in public acrimony, debt and persecution by the media.
This book was a very good read, the plot flowed reasonably well although a bit more editing in places may have been warranted, I did feel at times that there was a bit to much going on.The characters and their development as the story progressed was both a driving point and an exceptional achievement, Horan really got their nuances and although fiction, I doubt that she was far off the mark. I felt that she nailed their emotional makeup,equally impressive was her description of the places of the book, she simply made them come alive, weather a simple home stay room or a majestic building, you could see them as they stood, it was another of the books strong points.
I bought my copy of this book when it was published in Pb in 2008, so I am not sure if it is still in print but all good libraries will have a copy, well worth picking up a copy.

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