Under the Wide and Starry Sky
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB PICK • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
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From Nancy Horan, New York Times bestselling author of Loving Frank, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.
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 Island and 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.
Praise for Under the Wide and Starry Sky
“A richly imagined [novel] of love, laughter, pain and sacrifice . . . Under the Wide and Starry Sky is a dual portrait, with Louis and Fanny sharing the limelight in the best spirit of teamwork—a romantic partnership.”—USA Today
“Powerful . . . flawless . . . a perfect example of what a man and a woman will do for love, and what they can accomplish when it’s meant to be.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Spectacular . . . an exhilarating epic about a free-spirited couple who traveled the world yet found home only in one another.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Horan’s prose is gorgeous enough to keep a reader transfixed, even if the story itself weren’t so compelling. I kept re-reading passages just to savor the exquisite wordplay. . . . Few writers are as masterful as she is at blending carefully researched history with the novelist’s art.”—The Dallas Morning News
“A classic artistic bildungsroman and a retort to the genre, a novel that shows how love and marriage can simultaneously offer inspiration and encumbrance.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Nancy Horan has done it again, capturing the entwined lives of Fanny Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson so uncannily, it reads like truth.”—Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress
“Horan has a distinct knack for evoking the rich, complicated lives of long-gone artists and the women who inspired them.”—Entertainment Weekly
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Fabulous read. I could imagine myself living in that period from all the wonderful descriptions. Enormous amount of research. Wanted more when I finished the book, so I read Treasure Island.
Wonderful, informative, transformative
After reading Loving Frank, I was hooked on her historical novels. What a delightful way to learn about amazing people. The book is clearly well researched and the novelization of fact flows so smoothly that you could swear it was all genuine history. She has clearly mastered the art capturing the essence of the people she writes about through her exhaustive research and I feel honored to have been able "get to know" such amazing people through her work. Can't wait for her next book.
- Category: Historical
- Published: Jan 21, 2014
- Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
- Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
- Print Length: 496 Pages
- Language: English