author of loving frank and under the wide and starry sky

Under The Wide And Starry Sky A Novel By Nancy Horan

Under The Wide And Starry Sky A Novel Random House Large Print By Nancy Horan
Under the Wide and Starry Sky
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Under The Wide And Starry Sky A Novel By Nancy Horan

Under the Wide and Starry Sky: A Novel

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  • And welcome back. If you just joined us, Nancy Horan is with me. We're talking about her work of historical fiction. It's titled, "Under the Wide and Starry Sky." All about Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny Osbourne, the woman who ultimately became his wife. She was 10 years his senior. She had been married once before. She had a philandering husband with who she had three children, one of whom died.

    Like “Loving Frank,” “Under the Wide and Starry Sky” is about the relationship. Once again, a conflicted woman stands behind a famous and creative man. This time, however, the towering ego and genius that propelled the earlier book is missing — and is missed. Robert is too tame, and Fanny just a wannabe.

  • Nancy Horan. Her new book is titled "Under the Wide and Starry Sky: A Novel." And you're listening to "The Diane Rehm Show." Is this a true depiction of Fanny on the cover?

    Nancy Horan. Her new book is titled "Under the Wide and Starry Sky: A Novel." And you're listening to "The Diane Rehm Show." Is this a true depiction of Fanny on the cover?

    Teritree001971at More than 1 year ago
    UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY is a historical fiction novel telling a new generation the story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny van de Grift Osbourne. From beginning to end, the story removes the reader to another time and place allowing him to see how things could have been in a time when divorce is a sin, while rank and privilege has both advantages and disadvantages. If you enjoy the works of Sharon Kay Penman or Wilbur Smith, you won't be disappointed with this story. Much like these authors, Nancy Horan has the ability to place the reader within the pages as Robert and Fanny live their lives day to day. They are not only historical people, but people the reader comes to care for. The story begins with its' focus on Fanny van de Grift and her early life. It tells of her life as a child, then her marriage and her eventual move to Paris, where she finally meets Robert Louis Stevenson. Then, she returns to the USA and the story begins to introduce the famous author, his friends, attitudes and travels. Eventually, Robert Louis Stevenson arrives in the states, where he manages to find Fanny once more. Along the way, the reader gets to see places and lifestyles hard to imagine in today’s world of computers, televisions, automobiles and instant gratification.

  • Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie. Glad did I live and gladly die, And I laid me down with a will. This be the verse you grave for me: Here he lies where he longed to be; Home is the sailor, home from sea, And the hunter home from the hill.
    Robert Louis Stevenson
    Source/Notes:
    Bk. I, Requiem (the final sentence was used on Stevenson's Gravestone). - Underwoods (1887)

    “Under the Wide and Starry Sky” takes its title from Stevenson’s poetry, and it’s clear Horan has drawn heavily on his writing and the couple’s voluminous letters to compose this story of love and frustration.

Robert Louis Stevenson - Under the Wide and Starry Sky

New York Times Book Review: “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, especially when the more successful partner believes that, as far as artists go, “a family could tolerate only one.”