Loving Frank

Loving Frank

A Novel

eBook - 2007
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I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current.So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives. In this ambitious debut novel, fact and fiction blend together brilliantly. While scholars have largely relegated Mamah to a footnote in the life of America's greatest architect, author Nancy Horan gives full weight to their dramatic love story and illuminates Cheney's profound influence on Wright. Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves...
Published: New York : Ballantine Books, c2007.
ISBN: 9780345502254
Characteristics: 362 p. ;,25 cm.


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Dec 12, 2017

What a marvellous novel. Having grown up in the UK I hadn't known much about Frank Lloyd Wright. I found Horan's account of the affair, and of life in the early 20th century to be quite remarkable. The angst Mamah experienced as a woman is not dissimilar to many of us even now, a century later.

Jul 01, 2017

I read this during a Frank Lloyd Wright tour with a college friend. It was a great way to add context to the experience.

Dec 09, 2015

This novel was a slow starter but once I got into the story I enjoyed it more and more. I agree with some who said it went on too long dwelling on the fictionalized inner thoughts and ideas of the two main characters. Theirs was possibly a deep love because the losses and indignities they had to bear would have brought many illicit affairs to an end. I don't know many women who could have given up their children as easily as Maymah did which made both characters seem very selfish and unlikable. The ending was a shocker.

Mar 05, 2014

It took me awhile to get invested in this book but I became more and more interested as it went along. A very character driven story. It's not often I enjoy a book despite the fact that I really disliked both of the primary characters.

Sep 09, 2013

Really, really boring. Very light on plot, and way too heavy on fictional internal thoughts. The main character is endlessly selfish. It seemed to me like 300 pages of apologetics for cheating on your spouse, abandoning your children for years at a time and expecting others to pick up the pieces for you. I was disappointed, as other books I've read in this "genre" - if you can call fictional accounts of famous men's wives a genre! - have been fabulous.

BugLady1 Aug 12, 2013

Good book, but VERY LONG. I love historical fiction and this tale was intriguing. Interesting insight into the private side of the characters. I have to say though, I was disappointed in the ending. For a book that was so long, it seemed to end too abruptly. Although I was aware of the historical outcome, it just seemed to leave me needing more at the end. Overall a good book leaving much to discuss with other readers.

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 17, 2013

Loving Frank is the fictionalized account of the affair between renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney, a client who, with her husband Edwin, had commissioned Wright to design a house. The novel explores and embellishes the intriguing facts: in 1909 Wright and Cheney each left their spouses and children and embarked together for Europe; they moved back to the US amidst media frenzy and built the “Taliesin” house in Wisconsin; in 1914, truth being stranger than fiction, the story ended abruptly when Mamah, her two visiting children and several others were murdered by a disgruntled, mentally unstable employee. The novel is also a fascinating glimpse into some of the radical ideas of the intellectual community at the turn of the century. Being based on real people, the plot is somewhat bound by the facts. But the facts present a rich and fascinating array of questions concerning freedom, responsibility, morality, self-actualization, and the pursuit of artistic vision.

Dec 06, 2012

This was an interesting story but I found it sad in many ways. Definitely wouldn't be a big deal om this day and age but I can imagine that it was quite the scandal then. I have to admit that I really didn't like any of the characters though. I was very disappointed by their actions and just really didn't care for any of them. I was surprised at the ending. Sure didn't see that coming.

Nov 07, 2012

So many people recommended this book to me and yet I was slightly disappointed. My disappointment stems from the fact that I did not like either the character of Frank nor his paramour. They were selfish and hurt others withour care. What is interesting is that the story was based on fact. I was facinated by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and read up on his history and achievements having read the book.

Oct 16, 2012

A well-researched account of Frank Lloyd Wright's early career in Oak Park, Illinois and then Wisconsin. His affair with a married woman with children was scandalous at that time. Mamah Borthwick was a fascinating early 20th century feminist, who learned Swedish so that she could translate the works of Ellen Key for an English speaking audience.
However, this book is far too long, and full of countless wearying details that really could have been left out without harming the tale. The author has done a good job of filling in the missing pieces in the history with plausible reconstructions, but. . . where was the professional copyeditor to say " Nancy, cut this down by at least 100 pages" ? Too long and it makes the book a bit tedious to read, despite the gripping true story.

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Oct 16, 2012

Violence: Children are burned alive in a burning house, with their father diggin with his bare hands later for their charred remains.

Veronica Martin
Jul 22, 2008

Violence: There is a scene of graphic violence in the book.


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Nyliram May 05, 2011

Nyliram thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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