Monday, September 20, 2010


Just finished reading this book, and wow, what an ending. I'll definitely be thinking about this story for awhile and pondering what parts of it were true and what were the author's imagination. Always a wonder when you're reading historical fiction. Sadly, the conclusion was a fact even if I really wished it hadn't turned out that way.

Reading the book reminded me that earlier this summer I visited a local Frank Lloyd Wright house here in Virginia, the Pope-Leighy House. Dubbed Usonian by Frank, these houses were what he envisioned for the "everyman." Slated to be demolished to make way for Route 66, the house was saved and moved to the current site. The exterior of the house does not impress, at first. But the minute you enter and sit down in the living space, you feel like you're wrapped in a warm sock surrounded by nature. A cocoon.

There is no doubt Frank was eccentric. A true artist. He didn't believe in closets. Or screens. And he called the tiny kitchen with no cabinets "the workspace." The house has no engineering or insulation. Also, he felt the carport should not have a car parked in it. It was only for dropping off and unloading and then parking elsewhere—so as not to throw off the aesthetic of the house. And if you lived in one of Frank's houses you could bet he might show up at any moment to visit. So don't leave the car parked out front or risk his wrath!

But the house was beautiful and really does have the effect he wanted. I'd live in one, if I could do without the closets. Which I really couldn't. Isn't it a shame that this didn't catch on and instead the landscape is covered in McMansions?