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Make It Stay

3.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  55 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
In the tree-nestled Northern California town of Mira Flores, writer Rachel ("an aging typist with an unprofitable hobby") and her Scottish husband Neil prepare dinner for a familiar "crew" of guests - among them Neil's best friend, the burly, handsome Mike Spender, an irrepressible heodnist - and Mike's wife Tilda Krall, a hard-bitten figure who carries her dark unknowabil ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Permanent Press (NY)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 174)
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Amy
Exquisite, unpretentious writing. This is about friendship, love and mortality.
As a Muriel Spark fan I like short novels. They’re not easy to write. a writer must possess exemplary writing skills. There’s less time for character development, establishing setting and point of view so the writing must be precise and solid. Make It Stay contains lovely writing and vivid descriptions. Author Joan Frank writes exquisitely and unpretentiously. No need to read this novel with a dictionary at the ready
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Amy Meyer
May 23, 2012 Amy Meyer rated it really liked it
Make It Stay by Joan Frank

Book Summary: In the tree-nestled Northern California town of Mira Flores, writer Rachel (“an aging typist with an unprofitable hobby” and her Scottish husband Neil prepare dinner for a familiar “crew” of guests – among them Neil’s best friend, the burly, handsome Mike Spender, an irrepressible hedonist – and Mike’s wife, the troubling Tilda Krall, a hard-bitten figure who carries her dark unknowability like an accusation.

Mike and Tilda have produced an enchanting daug
...more
Jackie Dunn
May 21, 2014 Jackie Dunn rated it liked it
This little book was a rocky read for me. The story revolves around the relationships of 2 separate couples: upper-middle class Rae and her husband Neil, and the more trashy duo of Tilda and Mike (close friends of Neil's). Although I liked the story, I had some strongly negative - almost visceral - reactions to the main characters. Rae is grossly needy, jealous, and highly judgmental - yet she seems to find no flaws in herself. Her husband Neil is even more abrasive; he's aloof, self-absorbed an ...more
cheryl
Jan 31, 2012 cheryl rated it really liked it
I recieved this short novel as a Goodreads giveaway winner. I might have been hesitant to purchase it on my own since I shy away from shorter novels. I loved it though so I'm quite glad that the giveaway brought it to me.


This is a novel of characters and relationships. The narrator is Rachel and she and her husband, Neil, spend much of the novel sharing the story of another couple, Neil's best friend Mike and Mike's wife Tilda. We also briefly see the story of Mike and Tilda's daughter, Addie. T
...more
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
Neil and Rachel (aka Rae) met and got married when Rae was in her forties - much later than is considered the "normal" age for first marriages. Rae is a writer, an introvert who preferred to stay home in her PJs than meet people. Neil was more outgoing, loved cooking and hosted dinners often for their friends and acquaintances. Into this marriage, Neil brings the baggage of his long friendship with Mike, the owner of an aquarium business in downtown, and the complicated relationship between Mike ...more
Gwendolyn
May 21, 2012 Gwendolyn rated it it was amazing
Make It Stay is impossible to describe. It’s the story of two married couples, particularly the husbands’ long and eventful friendship, but it’s really so much more than that. Over the course of a lifetime, Neil and Mike forge a loyal connection based on a long history and a shared love of sensual experiences (for Mike it’s women and for Neil it’s food). The story is structured as Neil’s retelling to his wife Rachel of his history with Mike and Mike’s tumultuous relationship with his own wife Ti ...more
Katrina Riley
Mar 22, 2013 Katrina Riley rated it did not like it
Shelves:
I won this book in one of the giveaways, and have been trying to read it. So far it's not very good.

It appears to be about a woman telling a story about something that happened in the past. The problem is that it is not her past, so everything is "this is what my husband said happened".
Also, the writer breaks one of today's cardinal rules - she tells the story, not shows it. Very little dialogue, all hearsay, and the wording is very convoluted too.

I'll be honest, I've only gotten a couple of c
...more
Jillian
Apr 15, 2012 Jillian rated it it was ok
About a month ago, I received a short novel in my mailbox called Make It Stay by Joan Frank. It was an attractive novel with a beautiful teal cover and it was a free copy from Librarythings that was given to me to review. Because the book was so short, I admit that I took forever to get around to reading it because I thought that it would be an easy one sitting reading session that I could quickly complete.

That didn’t happen. When I picked up the book, I found myself struggling to make it throug
...more
Sheila
Feb 23, 2012 Sheila rated it really liked it
Love in an age of freedom, friendship at an age when years begin to count, loyalty in a time of suffering, and hope in the face of despair, Joan Frank’s Make it Stay has it all. A feast for the senses, it combines the wondrous scents of Neil’s culinary expertise with the sea-salt spray of a boat and fear of rogue waves. Northern California green contrasts with the bold sun of Arizona. And a loyal wife takes her place in the present, her love contrasted a spouse's other loyalties born of his past ...more
Bob Wake
Feb 28, 2013 Bob Wake rated it it was amazing
Joan Frank’s Make it Stay is a brief novel, but it skimps on nothing under the sun, particularly the lush sun of Northern California where the story is set. This tale of aging Boomer marital discord is so thoroughly embedded within the sensuality of the natural world that it seems sprouted rather than written. In Frank’s lovingly rendered vineyard town of Mira Flores (“the fresh sharp smell of pines in the warm sun, the drifty morning fog, heavy sweetness of roses spilling over fences in Popsicl ...more
Lydia Presley
May 17, 2012 Lydia Presley rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, 2012
Make It Stay is a short, compact tale told through the recounting of stories between a husband and a wife.

Neil and Rachel are married - they met later in life than is the "norm", and Neil comes with the "baggage" of friendship in the form of Mike and Tilda.

Mike is a larger than life character - vibrant, colorful, filled with character. The reader is introduced to him through Neil's eyes, as the story between Mike and Tilda is told to Rachel.

So not only does Mike and Tilda's relationship tie in
...more
Susan O'brien
Jun 10, 2012 Susan O'brien rated it liked it
This is a slender novel but not a fast read. Rachel, wife of Scottish-born Neil, tells this story of the couple's long friendship with another couple, Mike and Tilda. Mike's life is one of vigor and sensuality, which Neil is taken with. Rachel has doubts throughout their marriage about Mike's lifestyle and whether it has been too big of an influence on Neil. Tilda is the least understood of the characters and Rachel can only tell us what she knows about her mysterious past. A horrific incident o ...more
Carrie
Feb 24, 2013 Carrie rated it it was amazing
It is said that life must be lived forward but can only be understood backward. Make It Stay offers us a window into what such an understanding may look like. In reading through the lives of her imperfect, sometimes unlikeable characters, you may find so much of yourself as to be changed. Frank's parting gift is a new found urgency to appreciate your fleeting moments more than you did before.
Lee Holz
Jan 31, 2012 Lee Holz rated it it was amazing
Make It Stay is the best example of literary fiction I have read in a very long time. Author Joan Frank tells a story of love, life and loss full of memorable characters in language that is always apt and often stunningly original and beautiful. To top it off, her writing is full of psychological and philosophical insights and truths. This is a book not to be missed.
Patricia Geller
Jan 13, 2013 Patricia Geller rated it liked it
It was hard to rate this book because I found it both well written and it spoke deeply about the complications and hits and misses of marriage in a very honst way, yet the friendship between the two men at the heart of the book didn't ring as true. I will see out other books by Joan Frank as I felt engaged with the book thoughout.
Maryann
Feb 13, 2012 Maryann rated it really liked it
This book is a gem- beautifully told, crafted with care, and shines a soft light on relationships and family. The characters revealed themselves as the story progressed, instead of forcing themselves to be recognized. This book is for all who love language and the turn of a good phrase.
Cindy
Aug 08, 2012 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Engaging writing and some surprises made this an interesting story. Rae and Neil are friends with Mike, less so his wife,Tilda. Compelling contrast yet strong connection between their lives. I will look for more by this author.
Brandy
Feb 05, 2012 Brandy rated it it was ok
I just couldn't really get into it. I felt like it lacked a good storyline. Recieved the book through the Goodreads giveaway.
Shannon Ross
Sep 25, 2012 Shannon Ross rated it did not like it


Pointless. Excessive descriptions which added nothing to book. Maybe less description & more plot in your next book?
Saisha
Mar 20, 2012 Saisha rated it liked it
Really sweet short story about love, friendship and what the effect of the death of one has on the other..
Hadas Moalem
Oct 20, 2013 Hadas Moalem rated it it was amazing
This book runs the entire spectrum of human emotion. Fantastic read.
Sara
Feb 26, 2013 Sara rated it liked it
Nicely written. Found the plot sad and a bit tiresome.
Tess
Jun 06, 2012 Tess rated it it was ok
Could not get into this at all.
justablondemoment
justablondemoment marked it as to-read
Apr 03, 2016
ShanLandis
ShanLandis marked it as to-read
Feb 11, 2016
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Bethany marked it as to-read
Jun 08, 2015
Noel Palatas
Noel Palatas rated it liked it
May 02, 2015
Heather Nichol
Heather Nichol marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2015
Carol Sklenicka
Carol Sklenicka rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2015
Laura
Laura marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2014
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Creative Reviews: Literary Fiction Reviews 3 10 Jan 31, 2012 10:55AM  

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