miercuri, 21 mai 2014

Review Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

The passionate and turbulent story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.

At the age of thirty-five, Fanny van de Grift Osbourne leaves her philandering husband in San Francisco and sets sail for Belgium to study art, with her three children and a nanny in tow. Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her brood repair to a quiet artists' colony in France where she can recuperate. There she meets Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who is instantly smitten with the earthy, independent and opinionated belle Americaine.

A woman ahead of her time, Fanny does not immediately take to the young lawyer who longs to devote his life to literature, and who would eventually write such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson's charms. The two begin a fierce love affair, marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness, which spans decades as they travel the world for the sake of his health. Eventually they settled in Samoa, where Robert Louis Stevenson is buried underneath the epitaph:

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

(Requiem, Robert Louis Stevenson)

My opinion:

And finally I finished reading this book. I started reading this book in January and I just keep stopping, and read anything else. Why? Well, it was kind a boring. But I’m glad that I didn’t give up and I finished because the ending was speechless.

At the first pages it is kinda captivate you. You will find the world of Fanny. That sick world when you married young and have children and then you find out that your husband it is cheating on you. And more, that everybody knows and you can’t do anything about it. That’s how the story begins. Fanny wanted so much to do something with her life, to became someone, so she goes with her children in France. And that’s when everything it is going to change.

I love so much that character of Fanny. For the type of woman of that era, she is the most strong and the most brave woman in that entire world. She is that woman that is a perfect mother and most of it a perfect female. The struggled and the fights that she make, that whole role of putting everyone first and forget about her needs… And more, how she take care of Louis. She was the perfect woman for him.

So Louis… That guy that  fall in love with  beautiful, strong Fanny.He was that guy who disappointed his father by becoming a writer instead of a lawyer. He was that sick boy/man who doctors didn’t give him so much hope for living. But with Fanny’s strong and warm care, he lived a beautiful life.

I like this book. Not loving, because like I sad there were some parts boring. But you know, that doesn’t mean that this book doesn’t have a beautiful, true story. And because it is a based on a true story makes her more beautiful an d more unique to read.

That awkward, powerful era, of 1880 has something in it that drives you crazy, and keeps you in the book. Those beautiful worlds that are describe in this book, the world and how the things are going. The love and the hate between  Fanny and Louis, those obstacles and that hate that everybody has on Fanny, just gives you that power to continue reading the story and enjoying it.

So just grab the book and start reading it. It is something worth it.

Favorite Quotes:

"It was the stories read to him, and those that he eventually read himself, that had saved him from the worst of the loneliness."

"To write is to give the soul. Truth comes from this place."

"My mother is my father’s wife. And the children of lovers are orphans."

"Louis once used the word “atheist” to describe himself when, in fact, “agnostic” was more accurate. But “atheist” was more hurtful; it was the juice of a lemon in his father’s wounds."

"In the end, what really matters? Only kindness. Only making somebody a little happier for your presence."

"If he could go back to that day on the North Bridge and alter the years that had intervened, he would change a few things. But not this woman."

"There is not a life in all the records of the past but, properly studied, might lend a hint and a help to some contemporary.”

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