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A TREASURE ISLAND OF INFORMATION,
This review is from: Under the Wide and Starry Sky: A Novel (Hardcover)
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In this atmospheric novel author Nancy Horan (she of LOVING FRANK fame) presents her imaginative version of the real life relationship and marriage of Scottish novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Osbourne, the Indiana born divorcee and mother of three who encouraged and supported Stevenson in his quest to become a writer of note.
Focusing primarily on the main protagonists, this ambitious historical tale skillfully portrays not only the motivations, complex feelings and nomadic lifestyle present in the Stevenson's May-December marriage; it also depicts the vast number of peripheral characters, both noble and flawed, with true depth and magnitude managing to paint a vivid portrait of the mores and culture present in the late nineteenth century.
UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY is a novel culled from an excellent store of research and is a must read for lovers of historical fiction. At the hands of a lesser author, this might have become a cloying tale love and loss descending to the depths of pot-boiler. Instead, Horan has provided her readers with a captivating tale that sends you straight to your computer for an in-depth exploration of the fact and fiction contained in Horan's version. As it turns out, Horan has presented a very factual picture of the couple, their families and their contemporaries. Buy the book and you'll see what I mean.