Mandolin's Reviews > The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston
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Dec 15, 11

bookshelves: my-inventory

With The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, Caroline Preston has transcribed the imaginative journeys I take every time I set foot in an antique shop. I love exploring these little treasure troves of our past, creating my own stories about the lives of the former owners of gorgeous Flapper
clothes, long thin cigarette holders, Depression glassware and kitschy wall decorations. I imagine the fun they had when they turned in the Worlds Fair or silent movie tickets whose stubs now remain, preserved under glass for posterity. I wonder about the loves and passions symbolized by old, heavy wedding bands and pressed flowers.

Similarly, in an imaginative and creative new literary form, Preston has blended a diverse collection of vintage material to recreate the history of Frankie Pratt, a modern 20s girl with dreams of becoming a writer. Through its beautiful array of advertisements, newspaper clippings, fabric swatches, postcards and other memorabilia, Frankie's scrapbook documents her graduation from high school, years as a Vassar girl, life as a starving writer in Greenwich Village, stint as a Parisian expat and, finally, her journey to success. Along the way, Frankie experiences the thrills of first love and the pain of first heartbreak, experiments with cigarettes and shocking novels (like James Joyce’s Ulysses!), learns about life and herself through both her successes and her failures, and grows up to find that, sometimes, the very thing you need to be complete is something you had all along. Frankie's story alone is slightly interesting but, told through such a interesting blend of material, it becomes altogether charming and memorable. Definitely a
novel for any antique lover, history buff or scrapbooking queen! I am so glad I purchased it, as I know I’ll be opening it again and again to discover something I missed the first time
through.
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