Thursday, February 27, 2014

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

Title: Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Author: Nancy Horan
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Ballantine
Publish Date: January 21, 2014
Source: TLC Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You liked books like "Loving Frank."
What's the Story?:

From "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 Two Cents:

"Under the Wide and Starry Sky" is the story of the famous writer, Robert Louis Stevenson, and his great love, Fanny. I did not know much about Stevenson's life although I've really enjoyed some of his books. Also, I really, really liked Horan's previous release, "Loving Frank," so I was very, very excited to get my hands on this book. I was most definitely not disappointed in this book.

I'm always interested about the stories of the people behind really famous people. It's interesting to me to see how these really amazing people were affected by the people they were surrounded by. Fanny is running away from a horrible marriage in America. She goes to Belgium where she hopes that she and her children will be able to start a new life. Tragedy strikes and the family is starting over again when Fanny first meets RLS. I loved reading about their rather quick courtship.

This book has a lot of adventure to it. RLS was definitely a wandering soul and the book follows the characters all over the place. If you like armchair traveling like I like armchair traveling, you are in for a real treat with this book!


One lucky winner will win a copy of this book (U.S. only). Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Monday, February 3rd:  Books Without Any Pictures
Tuesday, February 4th:  Book Drunkard
Wednesday, February 5th:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, February 7th:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, February 10th:  Luxury Reading
Monday, February 10th:  Julz Reads
Tuesday, February 11th:  Knowing the Difference
Wednesday, February 12th:  Let Them Read Books
Thursday, February 13th:  River City Reading
Friday, February 14th:  Literally Jen
Monday, February 17th:  Bibliophilia, Please
Monday, February 17th:  Man of La Book
Tuesday, February 18th:  Lavish Bookshelf
Wednesday, February 19th:  Read. Write. Repeat.
Wednesday, February 19th:  A Novel Review
Thursday, February 20th:  BookNAround
Friday, February 21st:  Read Lately
Friday, February 21st:  Unabridged Chick
Monday, February 24th:  Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, February 25th:  Lit and Life
Wednesday, February 26th:  Books and Movies
Thursday, February 27th:  A Bookish Affair
Friday, February 28th:  Ageless Pages Reviews
TBD:  Col Reads


  1. I love reading novels about artists and writers. This book sounds very appealing.

  2. I have always loved Robert Louis Stevenson's poetry so I am very curiouis about his private life.

  3. What a beautiful cover! I love Robert Louis Stevenson. I'm looking forward to reading this!

  4. This book would be captivating and fascinating. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. I truly enjoyed Loving Frank and look forward to reading this one. Sounds like another good read.

  6. Robert Louis Stevenson has been a favorite of mine since I was very young. His life story is easily as interesting as his books. Thanks for the chance to win this one.

  7. I love books that deal with the private life of favorite artists and I have had this one on my wish list for awhile!

  8. I really enjoyed Loving Frank and look forward to this one.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  9. I've seen this one around a lot and I really want to read it. I don't know much about Robert Louis Stevenson, but I know his work.

  10. RLS is one of my favorite childhood authors and I'm looking forward to learning about his life!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  11. It is interesting to read about the private lives of well know people and this looks like a story with some interesting characters.

  12. I love RLS...I can't wait to read this!

  13. I loved Loving Frank. Would love to read this. I'm certain it'll be just as wonderful. -Suzy


  14. I too love reading books about the people or women behind some of the great men in history. I've never read anything by RLS but this sounds like a great story.

  15. I enjoyed LOVING FRANK and (as a fan of RLS) have been looking forward to UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  16. I agree with your post. There is so much to learn about the people motivating or influencing famous people. Sounds like a good read.

  17. The cover draws me in, just beautiful. I have never read anything by RLS but it sounds like a wonderful book. at gmail dot com


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