Nancy Horan’s first novel, Loving Frank, explored the tangled personal life of Frank Lloyd Wright. Now, in her second, she takes a deep, long look at the intimate history of yet another creative man. This time, the action is viewed from two perspectives—those of Robert Louis Stevenson and (even more so) of his American wife, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, who hopes to be a painter or a writer herself. Under the Wide and Starry Sky is at once a classic artistic bildungsroman and a retort to the genre, a novel that shows how love and marriage can simultaneously offer inspiration and encumbrance,
Susann Cockal - New York Times Book Review
The central couple is Fanny Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson....[detailing] their years spent in the South Pacific traveling from one island to another. Her own writing talent is submerged in the wake of Louis’s growing fame, and her influence over him creates envy among his circle of friends in Britain. This beautifully written novel, neatly balanced between its two protagonists, makes them come alive with grace, humor, and understanding.
(Starred review.) Horan’s spectacular second novel has been worth the wait. Brimming with the same artistic verve that drives her complicated protagonists, it follows the loving, tumultuous partnership of Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and his Indiana-born wife, Fanny Osbourne…. Together, they are riveting and insightfully envisioned, including through moving depiction of how their relationship transforms over time…. [An] exhilarating novel.
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