Posts tagged ‘Nancy Horan’

June 14th, 2010

A Ranting of the Reviews of Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

by Gwen

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I have been steaming about this for almost a week. Should I post about this or not post about this? Then I figured that if it was still brewing in my head, I should do it. Here goes…

Loving Frank, I liked it. I love everything Frank Lloyd Wright, so that was sort of a foregone conclusion. My rant isn’t about that, but I want to make sure that you know that I liked the book. Nancy Horan brought to life a woman that is largely forgotten in history, Mamah Borthwick Cheney. Over time, she became a footnote in the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, his mistress that died. Seldom is she even mentioned by name. Horan gives her a name and a depth that no one has before.

Read the book if you want, but my rant is with many of the reviews that I found online.

FIRST ISSUE-I don’t know about you, but when I am going to read a book that is either nonfiction or historical fiction, I tend to know a bit about the period or event that it covers. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t really have been interested in reading the book in the first place.

The thing that shocked me about some online reviews is that people were mad that previous reviewers talked about the ending of Loving Frank. They ranted about spoilers. Um, this part of the story isn’t fiction, it is fact. Telling the ending of this book wasn’t a spoiler. I bet these same people would read a book about the history of WWII and be pissed about reviews that revealed that we won.

SECOND ISSUE-One of the things that struck me about the book is how, in many ways, the style of journalism has changed. Today’s paparazzi have nothing on the yellow journalists of the early 1900’s. They hounded, judged, & wrote outright lies about FLW and Mamah Borthwick in order to sell papers, often creating insane headlines. You may not realize how much things have changed, but they have.

While I noted this change, current day readers/reviewers and their judgments haven’t. I was absolutely floored when I read many reviews that stated that Mamah got what she deserved. Funny that she supposedly got what she deserved, but FLW is still celebrated today and lived to a ripe old age of 91. What was his comeuppance, assuming that these people feel that she got what she deserved? Why the double standard and what right do you have to judge?

MY TAKE AND WISHES- I do a bit of research on a book before I choose to read it. Whether it is looking into the author or subject matter, it makes my reading experience a lot more fulfilling. I would encourage others to do so.

Lastly, this one may be too much to ask, but you will never get anything if you don’t try. Stop the judging of women and the choices that they make in their lives. First of all, we are not in their shoes and don’t have the same life experiences they do. Second, there is a big difference between judging and disagreeing with a person’s choices. One is constructive, the other is destructive.

{This is me, getting off of my soapbox}


If you like historical fiction that is much more fact than fiction or appreciate the genius that was Frank Lloyd Wright, read this. Just don’t read the reviews on Amazon.