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Be Frank with Me Kindle Edition
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|Length: 309 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Hilarious, poignant and full of unexpected gems. ― Huffington Post
Delightful. You will laugh out loud. ― Slate
Johnson's magnificently poignant, funny, and wholly original debut goes beyond page-turner status. Readers will race to the next sentence. And the next. Her charming, flawed, quietly courageous characters, each wonderfully different, demand a second reading while we impatiently await the author's second work. -- starred review ― Library Journal
Readers will find themselves captivated. ― People Magazine
Witty dialogue, irresistible characters, and a touch of mystery make this sweet debut about a quirky Hollywood family an enjoyable page-turner. ― Booklist
Johnson's magnificently poignant, funny, and wholly original debut goes beyond page-turner status. Her charming, flawed, quietly courageous characters, each wonderfully different, demand a second reading. ― Library Journal
The curious incident of where'd you go, Salinger. ― Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
A sparkling talent makes her fiction debut with this infectious novel that combines the charming pluck of Eloise, the poignant psychological quirks of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and the page-turning spirit of Where'd You Go, Bernadette.
Reclusive literary legend M. M. "Mimi" Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi scheme, she's flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. The prickly Mimi reluctantly complies--with a few stipulations: No Ivy-Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.
When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she's put to work right away--as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer's eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noel Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth-graders.
As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank's father is, how his gorgeous "piano teacher and itinerant male role model" Xander fits into the Banning family equation--and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.
Full of heart and countless "only-in-Hollywood" moments, Be Frank with Me is a captivating and unconventional story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.--This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B016UZBCSW
- Publisher : Corvus; Main edition (2 February 2016)
- Language : English
- File size : 1807 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 309 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 172,615 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Mimi Banning wrote one book twenty years ago - a brilliant book that brought her wealth and fame. But Mimi is a recluse. And now she's a broke recluse, having fallen victim to a Ponzi scheme. So, she needs to write a new novel. You see, it's not just Mimi - she has a nine year old son named Frank to support. She needs someone to watch Frank and run her household while she writes, so her long time publisher sends her twenty something Alice.
That's the basic premise. But the premise is only a vehicle for the most wonderful character I've met in a long time. Okay, all of the players in Be Frank With Me were well written - and they're all flawed in some fashion, but it's Frank that will capture your heart.
I loved him from the first page..."Before we left the house that morning, he'd shellacked his hair like a mini Rudolph Valentino, put on a wing-collared shirt, white tie and vest, a cutaway coat, morning pants and spats. Also a top hat...."
Frank chooses his outfit carefully each day, matching plans, excursions and adventures to his outfits. That's the outside of Frank. Inside is a boy with a brilliant mind, who doesn't quite see the world as everyone else does. But despite that brilliant mind, he's still a young boy who is fragile as he tries to make sense of relationships and interactions in that world.
The dialogue in Be Frank With Me is superb - Frank's voice is wonderful and as we come to know Frank, his declarations and antics really do make sense. I loved his recollection of facts, movies and music. (And actually learned a few things as well!) But those facts serve another purpose as well..."Facts were all the protection he had. Facts were his force field." Mimi is quite prickly and at first I didn't like her. But as the novel progressed, my opinion changed. As did my views on Alice - good to bad to good. And that's what I enjoyed - no one was perfect and the ending wasn't all happy campers.
By turns, Be Frank With Me is heartbreaking, humourous and oh so very, very good.
MM Banning (Mimi) reeks of Harper Lee – an enigma, famous for her one and only award-winning book written decades ago. Interestingly she’s probably the character we get to know least in this story. She’s aloof, prickly and unpredictable. Readers will occasionally question her mothering skills but there’s no doubt she loves her son. Desperately.
Alice is like a breath of fresh air. Not just for the Banning household but for we readers. She describes herself as fairly plain and practical.
And she’s hilarious. Droll, witty, able to laugh at herself; and with a strong hide she’s the perfect foil to Mimi’s irascibility and just the person to foster but ‘tame’ the perilous Frank.
As for 9yr old Frank, well… he’s a delight. There’s no real diagnosis of his personality quirks, but I suspect he would feature on the autism disorder spectrum.
Ridiculously intelligent (as he keeps reminding Alice and everyone around him) his thirst for knowledge is insatiable. He and Alice counter-balance each other perfectly.
The novel’s written in first person from Alice’s point of view and the prose – predominantly through the dialogue – is beautiful. Johnson manages to eke out great humour, even in the saddest, most poignant scenes.
Of course… all good things must come to an end, but (for a change) I wasn’t left wanting when I turned the last page. Wondering, but not wanting.
Read the full (very gushing) review on my blog: [...]
Top reviews from other countries
Still, it was an enjoyable read and I liked the characters and the way it flowed briskly and colourfully to the end.