Sarah McC's Reviews > The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston
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Aug 21, 12

bookshelves: books-for-happy-reading
Read in August, 2012

** spoiler alert ** So, this was a tumblr read from somewhere (I’m following too many people who like to read!), and I was enamored with this book as soon as I saw it because IT IS SO COLORFUL!

The entire book is a scrapbook of a girl growing up in the 1920’s, telling her story through her own snippets of a journal entries and bits of paraphernalia.

I really wanted to like this book, but…

The format just kept the book too shallow. I never really got to know Frankie or anyone else. The story skipped large portions of time. (For instance, one one page we have an entry from the summer between her freshman and sophomore years of college, and on the next page she is applying for an award in her senior year. Very abrupt.)

But for me, the biggest problem was that this book was incredibly stereotyped. Every person, every plot “twist.” Let us take, just as an example, Frankie’s boyfriends (definitely SPOILERS!):

Not really a boyfriend, just a clever boy from high school whom she thinks is not romantic enough.
Older man with a mysterious past. Turns out that he’s married.
Handsome and clever man after college graduation. Turns out he’s gay.
Return of older man with not-so mysterious past, who is now divorced. They sleep together, knowing that THIS IS DESTINY!
Return to home. Ends up with the nice boy from high school who is now a brilliant doctor and has loved her all this time even though he hasn’t heard from her in years.
Really?

And it wouldn’t be so bad if that wasn’t the entire plot of the book. Nothing else really happens.

Ironically, I ended up reading a book that was actually written in 1927 just a few days after I finished that one (I’ll review it soon), and it was entirely free of ALL those stereotypes.

There was a huge loosening of morals and sexual restrictions in the 1920’s, but I get irritated by stories that imply that that was ALL that was happening in the 1920’s, and that every single relationship had to have something illicit about it.

So anyway. That’s all just my opinion. But I only give 2/5 for Frankie Pratt.
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