Loving Frank Paperback – 2 Oct 2008
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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. (Lauren Belfer, author of City of Light)
This graceful, assured first novel . . . is engrossing, provocative reading. (Scott Turow)
A riveting historical novel. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Horan does an impressive job of rescuing Mamah from the footnotes of history . . . This compelling read sheds light on an ill-fated relationship from the foundations up (Independent)
Outstanding... Nancy Horan has found an untold tale of a famous couple that rocked society at the start of the last century, and she tells it with gut wrenching raw emotion that could not fail to stir even the hardest heart. (Daily Mail)
Enthralling (New York Times)
A novel of impressive scope and ambition (Washington Post)
The scandal that rocked society and defied convention.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Most novels deal with romance, hope, and redemption. Loving Frank is quite different because it displays a tragedy based on imagining the relationship between two real people, the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the wife of one of his clients, Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who left her husband and family to live with Wright. Beyond a few scraps of writing, we know little about Mamah Borthwick Cheney other than what a few friends and the excesses of journalists said about her. Even though I've read several books about Wright, I didn't get much of a sense about Mamah until reading this book. I thought that Nancy Horan did a fine job of bringing Mamah to life by imputing reasonable motives to her for the actions she is known to have taken.
Frank Lloyd Wright had a reputation for romancing the wives of his clients, but only Mamah left home and hearth for him . . . despite having a comfortable marriage and two children. Mamah appears to have seen this as an opportunity to become a fulfilled person by having a professional (she was a translator of feminist literature) and a personal life (with Frank) that was continually stimulating.
Why, then, is this a tragedy? Well, Mamah didn't end up doing nearly as much professionally as she hoped, and Wright was often not around . . . or not behaving as he should have. In addition, Mamah ended up being characterized by the press as a scarlet woman in a way that shamed all of her family and friends. Her leaving her family affected her children and herself in fundamental ways as well . . .Read more ›
Having said that, the content was interesting and I learned a lot about an architect who had previously been little more than an iconic name to me. Mamah Cheney I had not heard of but it's not hard to feel sympathy for the pair of them in the light of current tolerance - they were born in the wrong era!
Frank Lloyd Wright was a ground-breaking architect in the early twentieth century and his relationship with Mamah Cheney, the wife of a client, caused a tremendous scandal. Mamah made the huge decision to leave her husband and children to travel round Europe with Wright but even there, news began to reach them of the effect their scandalous behaviour was having on their families. On their return they were hounded by the press and it was it was impossible for them to have a normal relationship.
While in Europe, Mama had made contact with Ellen Key and it was her translation of Key's feminist writings that gave Mamah both moral support and her professional stimulus.
The dramatic ending is like something from a fiction novel and knowing little of the history of the couple, took me completely by surprise.
Recommended for lovers of Biographies.
Frank himself could hardly be considered as a man who "blended into the landscape" and his unconventional affair with Mamah Borthwick Cheney, a married woman with two children, resulted in tragedy both personal and professional
Author Nancy Horan's historical novel takes you into the lives and minds of this unusual couple and explores their relationship and its effect the people who loved them as well as those on the periphery of their passion.
We are drawn into the inner thoughts of Mameh, an accomplished woman in her own right.....college graduate, fluent in several languages.....and her attempt to "stop standing on the side of life watching it float by" and instead "swim in the river and feel it's current". In an era when women were expected to quash any desire for personal growth and "act happy", Mameh's personal conflict forced her to make choices that provided temporary satisfaction, but were ultimately disasterous.
Could it be that you, like me, will become so consumed by Horan's vivid portrayal of this couple that you will find yourself searching the internet for more information about "what happened after" Horan's tale ends.
This one had me on Wikipedia and Google for days, gleaning all I could about Frank Lloyd Wright and his affairs. I'd like to feel this was his one true love because he went on and had several more relationships after her which, when you reach the dramatic end, just doesn't seem possible. I'm really, really glad I didn't know what happened before I read the book - it was a complete shock!
Really well researched and engaging fictionalised biography that truly brought the period alive for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I only read the first few pages but had to stop as it was so badly written I could not go onPublished 1 month ago by Lady S, Lady
Hard working reading this book as couldn't empathise with either of the main characters. Found it quite pretensious too.Published 3 months ago by MLaw
Very good in some places. Adequate mostly. Dull too often. Still, an important story about the love of Frank Lloyd Wright's life. Be warned. Tragic ending :(Published 3 months ago by William Donelson
I wasn't sure about this book to start with, I found myself warming up as I went along and in the end thoroughly enjoyed reading it....! Read morePublished 9 months ago by mrs sarah s proffitt
A spectacular piece of work that strongly evokes a fascinating period and a tragic story. Although I was familiar with the bones of this story, it was truly brought to life with... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Colin Bisset
To be honest, I had no knowledge of Frank Lloyd Wright or his life. Portions of his relationship with Mamah were quite dull when reading, but the author has done a great job of... Read morePublished 12 months ago by S-man
Fantastic quality item. Great value. Thank you for the lovely item. Delivered as promised and in good packaging too. Would highly recommend the seller again.Published 13 months ago by Karen Meade