Deborah's Reviews > Be Frank With Me

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson
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it was amazing

Oh god… where to start?! I loved everything about this book but it’s the characters which set it apart from anything else I’ve read recently.

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:
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Reading Progress

February 2, 2016 – Started Reading
February 2, 2016 – Shelved
February 2, 2016 –
page 145
February 2, 2016 – Finished Reading

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