Book of the Month – Under the Wide and Starry Sky

Book of the Month – Under the Wide and Starry Sky


Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank fascinated readers and was one of the most popular book club books of all time.  Under the Wide and Starry Sky, her anxiously-awaited second novel, is poised to capture readers hearts and give them insight into the life of another artist  viewed through the prism of the strong woman by his side.  Loving Frank opened our eyes to the world of Frank Lloyd Wright and architecture; Under the Wide and Starry Sky will do the same for Robert Louis Stevenson and writing.

The story is a fictionalized account of the relationship between Robert Louis Stevenson and his American wife, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. After meeting the Scotsman at a French artists’ colony, Fanny becomes Louis’ lover and caretaker, and ultimately his wife.

Taking its title from the first line of Stevenson’s poem, “Requiem,” Horan’s novel is a heartbreaking tale about the tumultuous nature of love and the creative process. As they travel the world together and Stevenson pens some of the most popular novels of the 19th Century – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Treasure Island – Fanny’s creative aspirations shrivel in the face of Louis’ achievements. But without her, Horan posits, none of those achievements could have ever come to fruition.

About the Author

Nancy Horan is best known for her 2007 novel Loving Frank, which chronicles a little-known chapter in the life of legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and his client, Mamah Borthwick Cheney. Loving Frank remained on the New York Times Bestseller list for over a year. It has been translated into sixteen languages, and won the 2009 James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction, awarded by the Society of American Historians.

A native Midwesterner, Nancy Horan was a teacher and journalist before turning to fiction writing. She lived for 25 years in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, where she raised her two sons. She now lives with her husband on an island in Puget Sound.

Beyond the Book

Author Website

New York Times Review

Washington Post Review

TODAY Book Club Pick