Sara Vilkomerson
January 16, 2014 AT 05:00 AM EST

Under the Wide and Starry Sky

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Nancy Horan
publisher
Ballantine Books
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Much as she did in her 2007 debut, Loving Frank, Horan examines history through the lens of a famous love affair — in this case, the one of Robert Louis Stevenson and his headstrong Indiana-born wife. Fanny Osbourne impulsively leaves her unfaithful first husband and takes her children to Europe so that she can study art. When she first meets the slight Scottish author, 10 years her junior, none of their friends have any inkling that their tempestuous romance will span decades and continents and fuel such iconic works as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Treasure Island. Horan has a distinct knack for evoking the rich, complicated lives of long-gone artists and the women who inspired them. B+

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