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Extended Audio Sample Under the Wide and Starry Sky: A Novel Audiobook, by Nancy Horan Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nancy Horan Narrator: Kirsten Potter Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2014 ISBN: 9780307576545
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From Nancy Horan, New York Times bestselling author of Loving Frank, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.

At the age of thirty-five, Fanny van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires. Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.”

Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing—and who would eventually pen such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair—marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness—that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fanny and Louis are wild-hearted seekers, and Nancy Horan traces their incredible journey fearlessly, plunging us through decades, far-flung continents, and chilling brushes with death. Ambitious and often breathtaking, this sweeping story spills over with spirited, uncompromising life.”

    Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife

  • Nancy Horan has done it again, capturing the entwined lives of Fanny Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson so uncannily, it reads like truth. Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress
  • Horan has a distinct knack for evoking the rich, complicated lives of long-gone artists and the women who inspired them. Entertainment Weekly
     
  • Fanny and Louis are wild-hearted seekers, and Nancy Horan traces their incredible journey fearlessly, plunging us through decades, far-flung continents, and chilling brushes with death. Ambitious and often breathtaking, this sweeping story spills over with spirited, uncompromising life. Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife
  • A delight from start to finish . . . as stirring as any of R. L. Stevenson’s famous tales. Hudson Valley News
     
  • A dazzling love story . . . Horan deftly brings to life a woman shamefully overlooked by history, and celebrates her contributions to the man whom history remembered. BookPage
  • Horan’s empathy for both Louis and Fanny allows her to capture their life together with all the complexity and nuance of a real-life relationship. . . . This beautifully written novel, neatly balanced between its two protagonists, makes them come alive with grace, humor, and understanding. Publishers Weekly
  • A richly imagined [novel] of love, laughter, pain and sacrifice . . . [Fanny Osbourne] kidnapped Robert Louis Stevenson’s heart. USA Today
  • Powerful . . . flawless . . . a perfect example of what a man and a woman will do for love, and what they can accomplish when it’s meant to be. Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Spectacular . . . an exhilarating epic about a free-spirited couple who traveled the world yet found home only in one another. Booklist (starred review)
  • Horan’s prose is gorgeous enough to keep a reader transfixed, even if the story itself weren’t so compelling. I kept re-reading passages just to savor the exquisite wordplay. . . . Few writers are as masterful as she is at blending carefully researched history with the novelist’s art. The Dallas Morning News
  • A classic artistic bildungsroman and a retort to the genre, a novel that shows how love and marriage can simultaneously offer inspiration and encumbrance. The New York Times Book Review
     
  • Operatic, global in its setting . . . [The years in the South Seas are] deliciously reminiscent of the adventure novels Stevenson wrote, and Horan’s delightful reimagining is just as entertaining. The Washington Post
  • “It’s one thing to bring the past to life. It’s quite another to bring it back rich in all its glorious complications. Nancy Horan has done it again, capturing the entwined lives of Fanny Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson so uncannily, it reads like truth—and better. I loved every minute I had it in my hands.”

    Sarah Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Postmistress

  • “As she did so magically in Loving Frank, Nancy Horan brings to life a distant time and faraway places populated by characters at once familiar and delightfully new…Horan gives us a marvelous gift: an entirely new appreciation of Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Osbourne.”

    Ayelet Waldman, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Mother

  • “Fans of Loving Frank will adore this authentic, richly detailed, and utterly captivating new novel from Nancy Horan. Under the Wide and Starry Sky is a globe-spanning literary wonder—the perfect book for those who read fiction in search of the truth.”

    Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Songs of Willow Frost

  • “Nancy Horan is back with another beautifully crafted story.”

    Pete Dexter, National Book Award–winning author of Paris Trout

  • “This beautifully written novel, neatly balanced between its two protagonists, makes them come alive with grace, humor, and understanding. Horan’s empathy for both Louis and Fanny allows her to capture their life together with all the complexity and nuance of a real-life relationship.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Spectacular…An exhilarating epic about a free-spirited couple who traveled the world yet found home only in one another.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “What an extraordinary story…Nancy Horan has transformed everything I thought I knew about Robert Louis Stevenson, and in Fanny—his passionate, independent American wife—she has created a woman whose struggles continue to haunt me.”

    Lauren Belfer, author of A Fierce Radiance and City of Light

  • A BookPage Best Book of 2014
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About the Author
Author Nancy HoranNancy Horan, a former journalist and longtime resident of Oak Park, Illinois, now lives and writes on an island in Puget Sound.
About the Narrator

Kirsten Potter, who graduated with highest honors from Boston University, has narrated numerous audiobooks and has performed for television and in theaters across the country. She has won several awards, including eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. Her work has been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and by AudioFile magazine, among many others.