Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan (a review)
4 out of 5: Loving Frank is an unsentimental and nuanced fictionalization of the real-life extramarital affair between well-known architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney. Horan confronts the moral issues implicated by the affair head-on and with intelligence and objectivity. Mamah and Frank are rich, three-dimensional characters surrounded by many other fully developed characters. Informative descriptions of Wright’s architecture and discussions of contemporary feminist ideology are nicely interwoven into the personal narrative. These nonfiction elements support and enrich the narrative without overpowering the primary storyline. The novel concludes shortly after a shocking event. Had this event not actually occurred in real life, it would have been an unsatisfactory ending—a disappointing deux ex machina. Recommended, especially for those readers interested in architecture or feminist theory.