Title: Be Frank with Me
Author: Julia Claiborne Johnson
Publisher: William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2016
Summary/Review: After years of being reclusive, the once famous author M.M. Banning (a.k.a. Mimi) finds herself in financial trouble and commits to writing another book. The editor sends his assistant, Alice Whitley, to keep tabs on Mimi and report back on the book’s progress. Alice has no idea what she’s in for.
Up until now, Mimi’s universe revolved around her son. Frank is a unique ten-year-old who prefers to act like a gentleman rather than a kid. A thrown-back from the 1930s, his ensemble includes a smoking jacket, aviator glasses, and a zoot suit. Frank is a talking encyclopedia, spewing out facts on every topic in a monotone fashion. Unable to relate to other children, he tends to spend his time alone or with adults. Not a fan of change, he has set rules that others must follow and overacts when things are amiss.
Noticeably absent is Frank’s father. His lack of presence keeps Alice wondering about his identity. The only male role model Frank has is Xander, a handy-man of sorts who pops in and out the household regularly.
Without seeing any pages, and getting merely hostility from Mimi, the only feedback Alice has to offer is her observations of the mother/son duo, which are often laugh-out-loud funny. As Alice struggles to keep everyone and everything in check, she finds out there is more to life than finishing a book.
Who will like this book: Anyone who enjoys reading about eccentric characters and their interactions with others.
If you like this, try this: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation
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