loving_frankFrank Lloyd Wright led a very interesting life.  When I first picked up this fictionalized account, Loving Frank by Nancy Horan,  I assumed it would be about his third wife, Olgivanna, and their stay at Taliesin West in Arizona.  I was surprised to discover that it actually covered his affair with Mamah (pronounced May-muh) Borthwick Cheney of Oak Park, Illinois that occurred between 1907-1914.  Both left their spouses and children, spent time in Europe together and became frequent fodder for scandalous stories in the press.  Writing a novel about real people must be challenging, but particularly so when most of what was available as historical record was yellow journalism.

The author does an excellent job of protraying Mamah, providing plausible motivations for her actions, while still framing them within the social contraints and criticisms of that time.  This is not just some sentimental romance, but a thought-provoking story about society, freedoms and consequences.  Add to that an early and violent death, and you have the makings for your next  book-discussion group title.