In her debut novel, BE FRANK WITH ME (William Morrow), Julia Claiborne Johnson introduces us to some of the most interesting, quirky characters I’ve ever met, and the privileged world of California few of us have ever experienced, nor will ever forget.
Legendary writer M.M. “Mimi” Banning hasn’t written a word for decades – since winning the Pulitzer and National Book Award at age 20. She’s spent 9 years hiding in a mansion up in Bel Air protected by walls topped with barbed wire to keep away her fans, who have slowly dwindled over the years. The piece of work she has managed to produce since then is her son, Frank. He’s a genius fourth-grader who speaks using words most people would have to look up in the dictionary and dresses in smart 1930s garb straight out of 30s and 40s movies, like 3-piece suits, bow ties, wingtips and uses facts about the movie business as armor. But after losing her fortune, to a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme, she must write a new book ASAP.
Mimi’s New York editor sends Alice Whitley to L.A. to make sure Mimi is working on that book. He needs eyes on site and its Alice’s job to keep Mini focused and in front of her typewriter. But Mimi doesn’t want Alice’s help, and Alice instead finds herself tasked with being Frank’s companion. Alice is captivated and frustrated by Frank’s eccentricities and can’t help but be curious about the identity of the boy’s father—and how a handsome, flirty piano teacher fits into the cloistered family’s life. Meanwhile, Alice gently urges the frequently unpleasant Mimi to please, please finish her book.
BE FRANK WITH ME is about being an outsider and the ways our differences help us see the world in new ways. Like Frank, this quirky story has a really big, beautiful, heart. It’s a story you won’t soon forget
About Julia Claiborne Johnson
Julia Claiborne Johnson worked at Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines before marrying and moving to Los Angeles, where she lives with her comedy-writer husband and their two children.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours http://www.tlcbooktours.com and William Morrow Books we have several copies of BE FRANK WITH ME to giveaway. Tell us what was the last funny book you read. We’ll pick winners Monday.
Remember, you can always check out my reviews at http://www.cindyroesel.com. Have a wonderful week.