Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Book Review: Loving Frank
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan (Ballentine Books) is an exquisitely written novel based on the world-renown architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mamah Borthwick Cheney.
In 1903 Mamah and her husband, Edwin, commission the locally famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, to design a house for them. Mamah and Edwin become friends with Frank and his wife, Catherine.
During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction develops between Frank and Mamah, a force so powerful they leave their spouses and children to live clandestine lives. They travel to Europe and Japan, following Frank’s quest for international architectural supremacy. Along the way, highly educated Mamah finds her intellectual fulfillment when she meets the Swedish feminist, Ellen Key and is commissioned to translate Key’s books and essays. When the truth about Frank and Mamah is exposed, their affair shocks Chicago society and brings shame and grief to their families.
Loving Frank is much more than a love story. It reaches into the possibility of freedom for woman and the cost and consequences of realizing those freedoms. Horan provides insights into the ambitions and quirks of Wright, an eccentric genius.
Loving Frank is a well-researched story of great passion, compassion, and timeless truth, an unforgettable historical novel.