We met to discuss Loving Frank, a fictionalized biography of renown architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his love affair with Mamah Borthwick Cheney, written by Nancy Horan Drew.
The book gave us much to talk about. We marveled at the author's writing skills in blending fact and fiction to bring the story to life. We were impressed at the amount of time she had spent in research for the book. And many of us thought the facts of the story would be more palatable as fiction, and the fiction may be better to be read as fact.
The slogan of 'life as truth' that was central to the main characters' attitudes provided us friendly debate about the essence of the story. Were Frank and Mamah being true to themselves, in spite of the destruction they created to those around them? Or, should societal mores play the larger role in each of our lives? Is being true to yourself also selfish? Is it better to be selfish than unhappy?
The subject of women's rights was a strong theme throughout the book. We compared the differences of what women struggled with one hundred years ago versus how we struggle today. Some things, such as voting rights, significantly differ. Other things, such as equal pay, women are still trying to achieve.
This book gave almost all of us an eye-opening perspective on the man regarded as one of the world's greatest architects. We talked about whether privilege excuses eccentricity, whether fame excuses entitlement, and whether someone's artistry and drive excuses their responsibilities to uphold societal rules. It was easy to introduce names from today's headlines for comparisons.
There are a lot of online resources for more information: