Nancy Horan, 2007
It's easy to feel torn, identifying with Mamah (MAY-ma)—but questioning her actions. Her sudden dash to Europe with Wright leaves you both distressed and exhilarated.
Although part of me hoped, fervently, for both characters' happiness, in this case it's hard not to consider utilitarianism—an ethical system in which actions are judged according to the greatest good for the greatest number. Mamah and Frank's actions leave a wake of emotional devastation that remains hard to justify, and yet....
The two make a life together that is enviable—one of intense creativity and artistic vision. According to Horan, it was a life that inspired Wright to reach his mature genius, of which we are the lucky recipients. Yet (too many "yets" and "buts" in this review) Horan seems to imply that genius should be granted great leeway—even at the expense of others' pain. Echoes of Ayn Rand?
Read this elegant book! Read it because it's good—and because it will yield a rich, thought-provoking discussion.
See our Reading Guide for Loving Frank.
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