Under the Wide and Starry Sky

  • by Nancy Horan
  • Narrated by Kirsten Potter
  • 17 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From Nancy Horan, New York Times best-selling author of Loving Frank, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.
At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium - with her three children and nanny in tow - to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires.
Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated "belle Americaine."
Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing - and who would eventually pen such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair - marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness - that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales.

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What the Critics Say

"Fascinating...a novel that shows how love and marriage can simultaneously offer inspiration and encumbrance." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A lot of fun...Horan drapes this skeleton of facts with a richly imagined musculature of love, laughter, pain and sacrifice." (USA Today)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Nancy Horan - another good one!

Where does Under the Wide and Starry Sky rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 10%


What other book might you compare Under the Wide and Starry Sky to and why?

It was similar to Loving Frank because Horan brought a real person to life. It reads like a novel, but it is very interesting to read about the history of Robert Louis Stevenson (in this book) and Frank Lloyd Wright in Loving Frank. Of course, I think Horan says that it is a somewhat factionalized account... They are both excellent listens!


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- N. Thompson

good performance, story goes on a little LONG

Would you try another book from Nancy Horan and/or Kirsten Potter?

Yes I would. I felt this went on a bit long but that is more because of the lives these people led rather than the storytelling. Was pretty amazing to go from Paris to Monterrey to the south pacific. I knew nothing of RL stevenson's life at all and was really interesting!


Have you listened to any of Kirsten Potter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I had just listened to Station 11 and the content was so different that it was an odd experience frankly!


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- Erika Shaffer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-21-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio