Rating: 4 / 5
Loving Frank is one of very few books where I truly enjoyed the book while despising the characters, which is a testament to Nancy Horan’s writing. The novel blends fact and fiction to weave the tale of Mameh and Frank Lloyd Wright’s affair, from the beginning, when Mameh and Edwin Cheney were clients of Wrights, through the dissolution of two marriages and the ensuing scandal.
Although I did not like or understand Mameh’s thoughts and actions, I think Horan did a wonderful job presenting Mameh’s outlook amidst the backdrop and social mores of the suffrage movement. I respect the challenges Mameh faced during a time when women had no vote, job limitations, and few resources to become self sufficient.
The ending is a shocker, though probably not to those who are familiar with FLW’s life and work. I did like how the aftermath of the tragedy was captured through Wright’s eyes, as it not only made him a little more likeable, but showed what a profound impact Mameh had on him.