This story is about Mamah Borthwick and her relationship with famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. It takes place in the early 1900's, and the time period is historically significant for women, and the political/moral backdrop is an interesting one.
Mamah and Frank are soul mates, and they leave their families to be together. The author does a good job describing the struggle they go through since divorce, women's freedom, women's rights were new concepts for the era. The press nearly eats them alive, especially Mamah, for her controversial decision to leave her children and be with the man she loves over staying in a loveless marriage that later is equated to a form of prostitution.
I found the story slow moving, but the era is a fascinating one. Unfamiliar with Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthnick's story, the ending was a surprise.
3 Stars: Slow at times, but rewarding.
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 Americas greatest architect, author Nancy Horan gives full weight to their dramatic love story and illuminates Cheneys profound influence on Wright. Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual. Horans Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world. Mamahs is an unforgettable journey marked by choices that reshape her notions of love and responsibility, leading inexorably ultimately lead to this novels stunning conclusion. Elegantly written and remarkably rich in detail, Loving Frank is a fitting tribute to a courageous woman, a national icon, and their timeless love story.