Saturday, July 11, 2009
TITLE: LOVING FRANK
AUTHOR: NANCY HORAN
What a story; thought provoking, fascinating, beautiful and heartbreaking. All the more so because it's a true story, or a fictionalized version of true events. But it could ave been a fictional moralizing tale, written around the time in which events take place, the first quarter of the 20th century. A novelist might have invented the ending to this story, as a moral warning; that no good can result from living in sin.
This is the story of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney. When the met both of them were married with children, and the architect was hire to design and build the Cheney family home.
As Frank and Mamah find they are soul-mates, the both take the heartbreaking decision to leave their families and build a life together. A decision that causes pain all around and created a huge scandal that was to last until and beyond the tragic death of Mamah.
But there is a lot more to this story. There's Frank's talent, his enthusiasm but also his one track mind and selfishness.
But most of all there's Mamah, a loving and generous woman, torn between convention, her duties and the love for her children on the one hand and her need to be true to herself, her heart and her feminist beliefs on the other.
This is a book that has left me with lots to think about, a book I will almost certainly read again some day.