CapRadio Reads

CapRadio Reads is a book club and online reading community, hosted by Capital Public Radio. Moderator Vicki Lorini and host Donna Apidone encourage you to participate in person or on the website.

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Under the Wide and Starry Sky

May 2014 book selection

Under the Wide and Starry Sky

by Nancy Horan

May 7, 2014

We are so lucky to have an opportunity to share with each other our thoughts about this interesting book.

I suppose we all have many reactions, but do you have questions?  I do.  Why were Fanny and Robert so drawn to each other? Why did their relationship endure through it all?  Were Louis's friends right about her? Was she overprotective, or did she just love him so much she had to try to keep him safe?  What about the writing?

How did Nancy Horan do on this novel?

Please sign up soon, so you can join in this conversation.  We'll see you next Tuesday, the 13th of May in our Community Room.  You won't want to miss this one.

April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday today from CapRadio Reads to William Shakespeare.

Our current novel, Nancy Horan's Under the Wide and Starry Sky, is a story of star crossed lovers, though not by The Bard.  The early part of the book, which I hope you are enjoying, talks about Louis meeting his American wife, Fanny Van de grift Osbourne, as she is escaping a nasty marriage.  Tragedy strikes her family in Paris, and she goes to a bohemian writer's colony to rest and perhaps to paint.  If you have reached this part in the book, you know that resting is not on her agenda for long.  It is here we meet Robert Louis Stevenson, or Louis as he is called.  Theirs is a turbulent and troubled affair and, perhaps out of guilt, or perhaps her own illness, Fanny retreats back to her marriage.  This is where the Robert Louis Stevenson we know really emerges.

In reading this far in our book, what do you think of Fanny's decision to move her children so far away, to a place they know so little about?  Is this the "double life" her future husband writes about later? Does she have a lot or a little to feel guilty about?

Aside from being an interesting and fast-paced novel, I love that it calls to mind so many good questions.  We will ask (and maybe answer) these and many more on Tuesday, May 13th, at 6:30 p.m. in our Community Room.  Please join us.

April 16, 2014

Our selection for the May Face to Face CapRadio Reads meeting, Under the Wide and Starry Sky, is a novelization of the the marriage of Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson. This is the second novel by Nancy Horan, the first being the life of Frank Lloyd Wright in Loving Frank. Horan gives us more than a glimpse into the life of 19th century Scottish poet and author Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny.  Although Stevenson died at only 44 years old, and although he was sickly most of his life, he had an extraordinary life.

Stevenson was 26 when he met his American wife, Fanny, 10 years his senior.  Fanny had gone to France to escape a terrible marriage.  She was taken with the bohemian lifestyle, and a young man called Louis, and their love for each other was evident from the start.

This is one of those books you will enjoy from every angle.  We will pay close attention to the part of their life that took place near Napa, which was fodder for so much of Louis' writing.

Please join us for our conversation about this really lovely book.  We'll see you in our Community Room on Tuesday, May 13, at 6:30 p.m.

As always, thanks for reading.