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Book Review: Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

book review, robert louis stevenson, nancy horan, under the wide and starry sky, books to read, midlife, midlife women
Under the Wide and Starry Sky: A Novel

This beautifully written story vividly carried me away to the 19th century and the life and times of author Robert Louis Stevenson. It is a history story, a travel story, but most of all, a love story of one of the premier authors of that era and his tempestuous wife, Fanny. book review, robert louis stevenson, nancy horan, under the wide and starry sky, books to read, midlife, midlife women

I was familiar with Robert Louis Stevenson’s most popular works (A Child’s Garden of Verses; Treasure Island, and Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde) but knew nothing about the man who wrote these classics. What I learned was that his life was as varied as his works. While the book is listed as a novel, Ms. Horan’s detailed research left me feeling like I was reading a biography rather than a well-thought out story, woven with real life events..

Robert Louis Stevenson was a literary genius who struggled with serious health issues his entire life. These struggles, along with his views of the world, complicated his relationship with his parents, his circle of friends, his marriage, even where he lived and worked. Compromises had to be made at every turn which led to adventures he and Fanny could never have dreamed of.

The book is not for the faint-hearted. It is 474 pages and 90 chapters long. But it was just the right length to eloquently portray the fascinating life of RLS. I took it slow and savored the writing. In the end, I came away with respect and awe for Robert Louis and Fanny Stevenson.

Read more from Caryn the Midlife Guru on her blog

Caryn The Midlife Guru

Caryn Payzant is a blogger focusing on making the most of midlife. Instagram: Caryn_MLG

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Anne Parris

Wednesday 23rd of April 2014

Oh, this looks like something I'd love! Thanks for the review, Caryn.

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