Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Under the Wide and Starry Sky - Nancy Horan

Title: Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Author: Nancy Horan
Pages (File Size): 496 (3.15 KB)
Published: 2014 (first published 2013)
Challenges: Blogger Summer Reading, E-Book, Historical Fiction, Chunkster, I Love Libraries
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Library

Description: At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires.  Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.”
            
Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing—and who would eventually pen such classics as Treasure Islandand The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair—marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness—that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales. (via ChaptersIndigo)

Thoughts: I really liked the concept and the title of the book.  As well, I had also heard a lot about this book from fellow bloggers that I thought I would give the book a try.  I can honestly say that prior to the reading the book that I had never had heard of Fanny and never knew that Robert Louis Stevenson (referred to as RLS after this) was married prior to this; all I knew was of RLS wrote several well-known book, along with a book of children's verse.

While the subject matter was fascinating, I felt that the book at times was drawn out and that the author got bogged down in some of the details of the story and didn't allow the story to grow a little more organically; it just seemed to drag on too much for my tastes.

Bottom line: If you enjoy fictionalized books about the lives of famous people and/or their family members, you probably will enjoy this one.  Recommended.

Rating: 3.25/5

Pages for 2014: 20,229
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