RLS is for Robert Louis Stevenson whom I only knew from assigned reading in school wrote Treasure Island and Kidnapped. Full disclosure—I am not a fan of classic literature (sigh) but HOW did I not know he also wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!?
This novel is historical fiction, an adventure story, but mostly a love story. RLS met Fanny Van de Grift in 1876 and found his soul mate. Their love affair is dramatic and compelling transporting the reader to thrilling heights and harrowing lows. Their adventures by ship in the South Seas and home in the Samoans are authentic and breathtaking. What treasured insights into the mind and life of Fanny—her fierce independence, commitment to her family, and deep abiding love for creativity will leave you thinking of her long after the last page.
Alone on a journey after meeting Fanny, Louis wrote:
“I wish a companion to lie near me in the starlight, silent and not moving, but ever within reach. For there is a fellowship more quiet even than solitude, and which, rightly understood, is solitude made perfect. And to live out of doors with the woman a man loves is of all lives the most complete and free.”
“For a man who spent a good part of his life expecting death to appear around the next corner, he was astoundingly cheerful.”
“When we lived in Davos, I hated the cold weather. Hated it. We would drink coffee in the morning and look out the window at twin mountain peaks in the distance. He asked me one sunny day, ‘What do you see?’ I shivered and said, A lot of ice and two frozen peaks. What do you see.?’
” ‘ I see the blue space between them,’ he told me. ‘I see a cup full of sky.'”