Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Don't you love when you come across a book that you literally can't put down? That was the exact relationship I formed with this book. I started it on a Tuesday, and by Saturday morning, I had read all 400 pages. Typically, I read when I work out at the gym. It's the routine I've found that works best for me. I go to gym because I want to read, and I am forced to read because I enjoy working out. I have a hard time making myself sit down and read at home. So usually, if I'm enjoying my book, I'm at the gym often. But if the book's boring? My workouts typically suffer too. With this book, not only did I have some fantastic workouts, but I actually found myself reading at home! Reading before bed, 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there... I couldn't put it down. I would definitely recommend Loving Frank.
It's a rare treasure to find a historically imagined novel that is at once fully versed in the facts and unafraid of weaving those truths into a story that dares to explore the unanswered questions. Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney's love story is--as many early reviews of Loving Frank have noted--little-known and often dismissed as scandal. In Nancy Horan's skillful hands, however, what you get is two fully realized people, entirely, irrepressibly, in love. Together, Frank and Mamah are a wholly modern portrait, and while you can easily imagine them in the here and now, it's their presence in the world of early 20th century America that shades how authentic and, ultimately, tragic their story is. Mamah's bright, earnest spirit is particularly tender in the context of her time and place, which afforded her little opportunity to realize the intellectual life for which she yearned. Loving Frank is a remarkable literary achievement, tenderly acute and even-handed in even the most heartbreaking moments, and an auspicious debut from a writer to watch. --Anne Bartholomew