Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

When this book first came out last year, I got to the first 100 pages, but had to return it because it was due back at the library, and I didn't love it enough to return it late. I picked up the book again this weekend, and devoured it in one day. I am not sure what changed for me as a reader this time around, but I am so glad I came back to this wonderful, compelling story.

If you haven't already heard the buzz about Loving Frank, as it has been quite popular with book discussion groups since the paperback release this year, you may not know that this is a fictional story about the famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and his love affair with a client's wife, Mamah Borthwick Cheney. Although the reader wonders how much of is made up, after further research, I discovered much of the novel is based on real events. It is fascinating that the public doesn't seem to know much about the woman who had great influence on the beloved architect. In fact, Horan maintains that when the tour guides are asked why Frank left Oak Park 1909, they tell the awkward truth that he ran off with the wife of a client, but don't mention the name Mamah Cheney.

Fortunately, Horan's novel provides the reader with the much needed story of this fascinating woman. In addition, readers will learn about architecture and Frank's life. Horan even saves a shocking revelation to the very end, which I won't spoil for you here.

This book has something for everyone: romance, history, intrigue, and much more. Especially if you reside in the Chicago area, you will find something to like here and won't be disappointed in this compelling story. Highly recommended!

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