Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan
Are you a fan of Treasure Islandor Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Meet the man behind the fiction and the woman who stood behind him. Robert Louis Stevenson is a humorous and delightful man, full of life and ready for a laugh. At least until his chronic illnesses bring him down yet again. Fanny meets Louis in France with her two children, an older daughter and young boy in tow. She is recuperating from the devastating loss of her youngest son to tuberculosis. She is also in France to get away from her philandering husband. Despite everything Louis and Fanny fall in love and struggle to create a life with each other. So begins their married life and the trials and tribulations of illness, artistic temperaments and ocean voyages eventually leading to a life in the South Pacific.
I was doubtful about Loving Frankwhen it first came out and only reluctantly picked it up when my book club chose it one month. I was thoroughly surprised by how much I enjoyed that read. While this book is a good read, it is not as gripping as Horan’s first outing. The two main characters, Fanny and Stevenson are both interesting in their own right; it is the relationship between the two that makes the story.
I listened to this story and it is a good one to listen to while doing other things. If your mind wanders, or you wander out of the room, and miss a couple of minutes it isn’t a problem. Like any life there are ups and downs; at times life moves at a whirlwind and at others a crawl and Horan captures the everyday as well as the pivotal events in the lives of this couple.