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Publisher's Summary

"I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current." So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright.
Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives.
In this groundbreaking historical novel, fact and fiction blend together brilliantly. While scholars have largely relegated Mamah to a footnote in the life of America's greatest architect, author Nancy Horan gives full weight to their dramatic love story and illuminates Mamah's profound influence on Wright.
Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual. Horan's Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world, and her unforgettable journey, marked by choices that reshape her notions of love and responsibility, leads inexorably to this novel's stunning conclusion.
©2007 Nancy Horan (P)2007 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"This spirited novel brings Mamah the attention she deserves as an intellectual and feminist." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Eva Gannon on 12-29-08


If you don't know the story of Mamah and Frank, don't Google it. I didn't and I did, and regretted having done so. It would have been more satisfying to let the book unfold without knowing the end.

This is an excellent audiobook. It brings to life a woman heretofore relegated to a footnote in the history of the brilliant and famous Frank Lloyd Wright. I think Mamah Borthwicke would be pleased.

The book dragged a bit somewhere around the middle, although this might have been because Googling it spoiled it a bit for me. But the ending was powerful, gut-wrenching, and I actually cried. After listening to Frank's letter to the Chicago Tribune -- which is an accurate rendering, btw -- I realized that like the Trib's readers, I had fallen into some shallow opinions of Mamah. This too, may account for the dragging I noticed.

This is a great read, treat yourself. Take stock at the end and ask yourself if you too, have judged Mamah as Frank charges. It's a stimulating exercise.

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37 of 37 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Molly-o on 08-20-08

Hang in there

I wasn't sure I liked anybody in this book at the beginning - children left behind for a man whose genius was obvious but his sense of purpose arrogant and obsessive. But from a female point of view, the book is fascinating. Mamah is really the focus and she ends up creating a life for herself and her children and emerges with a great deal of integrity. I ended up loving the book although never really loved Frank.

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22 of 22 people found this review helpful

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