My book recommendations have been few and far between lately, but I recently read a book that was very interesting and quite a good read. Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan is the fictionalization of the life of Fanny Vandegrift Stevenson, the wife of writer, Robert Louis Stevenson. It is written as a fictional recreation of a true story, so while the facts are consistent with what occurred in their life together, many of the conversations are created for the story. I find this style most interesting and based on the many true diary excerpts highlighted in the book, the author did a wonderful recreation of their point of view.
This book is more than anything, an adventure story. The reader travels to Paris, London, California and finally sails the south seas with the Stevenson family. It is the story of Fanny's strength and her passion in making Robert Louis Stevenson a prolific writer and to improve his poor health, even to the detriment of her own.
I have read many books in this style and enjoyed getting to know the wives in the background of their more famous husband's lives. All strong women in their own right, but willing to sacrifice much for their husband's genius. It is an interesting dynamic to to read about and witness.
All these books in the same style are interesting reads and I especially loved The Paris Wife, the story of Hemingway's early days of writing and living in Paris with his first wife, Hadley Richardson.
The Aviator's Wife is the story of Anne Morrow Lindburgh and tells the story of her life with Charles Lindburgh and the famous kidnapping that tore apart their life together.
Finally, also by Nancy Horan, Loving Frank is the story of Kitty Wright and her struggle for respectability in the face of her husband's (Frank Lloyd Wright) known philandering. Her life was full of turmoil including a shocking event at the end of the book.