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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