I’m in a book club. This may not seem like an earth-shattering announcement to you. It’s a big deal to me, though. I’ve got fantastic friends, but very few of them are voracious readers. When I try to discuss things like plot points and point of view, I will often as not hear “I’ll just watch the movie.” It’s frustrating to revel in great books and bemoan the bad when those that are listening do not much care for the subject at hand.

That’s why a book club is so awesome. I can sit down with my new friends and discuss passive versus active voice, narrators, dialogue and flow. We speak the literary language and all understand each other. We can discuss emotions and our thoughts. It really is the neatest experience and I’m so grateful to be part of this great group.

My taste in literature tends to lean heavily towards the classics – I don’t often read current books because they often fall short of my beloved classics. Being part of this book club, it’s helping me branch out into fiction that I might not have picked up on my own.  As we go, I’ll do my best to share the books with you as well – so that perhaps you’ll pick up something new (or stay away as the case may be).

This month, we read Loving Frank. As above, it wasn’t something that I’d choose off the shelf myself.  The book is a fictional account of Frank Lloyd Wright’s affair with Mamah Cheney. There isn’t much written about the affair, just newspaper articles and some interviews – so Nancy Horan took what was known and spun a very believable story around it.

From the moment that Frank Lloyd Wright began plans for the Cheney house in Illinois, she artfully draws you into this love story that went well beyond the social norms of the time.  She writes in the third person but from Mamah’s perspective. As the story unfolds, I found myself drawn to the man as well.

(Stained glass from Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio – click the photo for more gorgeous work)

Doesn’t that stained glass just take your breath away? As I read through the book, I started looking at his work and it is all incredible and amazing. Not only for his time period but it holds as timeless work for today as well.  There is a home he designed not far from where I live and our book club is going to take a tour.

At first, I found Loving Frank rather dry. The plot moved forward slowly and in the first one hundred pages, I found myself grumbling a bit but plodding through the story because I had committed to the book.

One of the gals messaged me: “Hey, has your opinion of the book changed yet?

I shot back a quick message. “I’m only a few chapters in and it’s interesting subject material but I find the writing rather flat.” (Remember, we can talk like snooty book critics because we’re in a book club)

I got further into the book and about half-way through, something changed. I’m not sure it was the writing as that did seem rather flat and placid. I started to be drawn into the story. It went from a basic story line and turned into something more dynamic. The characters improved, the story quickened. I found myself holding my breath at points while I was reading.  At the climax, I actually gasped out loud. It was very lucky I was sitting somewhere secluded on my lunch break finishing that!

It won’t be a permanent fixture on my bookshelf, but I am glad to have read it. It was a light enough read that I didn’t have to sit and ponder through each line. I could see this thrown in a beach bag or read in your hammock while your husband brings you something cold and fruity to drink. (What? Your husband doesn’t do that? Shame!)

It did encourage me to do more research about Frank Lloyd Wright and what he accomplished. There really wasn’t any direction offered in the back of the book in case I was interested, and I would have loved a guide to good resources if I wanted to learn more. Google can be great but direction from someone who had made serious study of FLW’s work would have been helpful.

If you liked this, try these!

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