‘FABULOUS’ The Times ‘FASCINATING’ New York Times THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 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 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 rather than the law – and who would eventually write such classics as Treasure Islandand 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 decades as they travel the world, following their art and their dreams.