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Under the Wide and Starry Sky

by Nancy Horan

eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

Under the Wide and Starry Sky Synopsis

At the age of thirty-five, Fanny van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium to study art, with her three children and nanny in tow. Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her brood repair to a quiet artists' colony in France where she can recuperate. There she meets Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who is instantly smitten with the earthy, independent, and opinionated belle Americaine. A woman ahead of her time, Fanny does not immediately take to the young lawyer who longs to devote his life to literature rather than the law - and who would eventually write 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 decades as they travel the world for the sake of his health following their art and dreams eventually settling in Samoa where Robert Louis Stevenson is buried, with these words on his grave: 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. (Requiem, Robert Louis Stevenson)

Under the Wide and Starry Sky Press Reviews

Fanny and Louis are wild-hearted seekers, and Nancy Horan traces their incredible journey fearlessly, plunging us through decades, far-flung continents and chilling brushes with death. Ambitious and often breathtaking, this sweeping story spills over with spirited, uncompromising life. Paula McLain, bestselling author of THE PARIS WIFE

 

Horan's second novel (following Loving Frank) again mines the true story of a famous man and equally remarkable woman of history to impressive effect. This time, instead of Mameh Cheney and Frank Lloyd Wright, the central couple is Fanny Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson ... This beautifully written novel, neatly balanced between its two protagonists, makes them come alive with grace, humor, and understanding. Horan's empathy for both Louis and Fanny allows her to capture their life together with all the complexity and nuance of a real-life relationship. Publishers Weekly

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781444778434
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Publisher: Two Roads an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781444778434
Publication date: 5th June 2014
Author: Nancy Horan
Publisher: Two Roads an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 496 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,
Categories: Historical fiction,

About Nancy Horan

Nancy Horan is the author of Loving Frank. She lives and writes on an island near Seattle. Her first novel, the story of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney, was a New York Times bestseller and a Richard & Judy Book Club pick.

More About Nancy Horan

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