Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

If you like Frank Lloyd Wright, then you’ll like this book. It is interesting how the author, Nancy Horan, justifies the affair Wright has with Mamah Borthwick Cheney in a time when affairs, especially with such public figures as Wright, would be – and wasn’t – tolerated by the general public.

If Nancy is correct and Wright’s wife was determined to hold onto Wright no matter how bad their relationship was, it is somewhat understandable on Wright’s part, but she also tries to justify why Mamah participates when she is in a relationship that didn’t have the same lapparent strangling relationship. Nancy feels it’s Mamah’s need for fulfilment that seems to push her forward with the affair.

All this is guess-work, of course, though it does appear the author did her homework with this relationship. But putting newspaper articles, letters, or diary entries (not sure where Nancy actually got her info on these two) into reality has to be a bit of guesswork, and that’s why its a fictional story. It is clear that Nancy does want to put a positive spin on all this, other than the ending, which can’t be portrayed as anything but tragic.

Nancy is obviously a Frank Lloyd Wright fan as well. She portrays Wrights personality as being authentic and infused with integrity instead of bossy and self-important, which is how I’ve heard him portrayed elsewhere. Loving Frank is the obvious prelude reading to the other recent and popular Frank book, T.C. Boyle’s The Women. I will put it on my to read list and let you know if Mr. Boyle is as big a fan of Wright as Nancy Horn is.

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