Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Be Frank With Me: A Novel by Julia Clairborne Johnson

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi scheme, she’s flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. The prickly Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy-Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.

When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noel Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth-graders.

As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank’s father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and itinerant male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

my thoughts:

Quirky characters, a Hollywood setting, and a writer tasked with penning another bestseller - what more could I ask for?  Be Frank With Me is a terrific story about family, love, and relationships. 

Mimi Banning wrote a book that was considered THE BEST THING EVER a long time ago.  Now she needs money or she'll lose her house, so she's decided to pen another bestselling novel.  Except she needs help with her son, so she can devote her time to writing.  Enter Alice, a young lady tasked with helping Mimi get her book written by any means necessary - mainly, keeping an eye on Frank (Mimi's son).  Suffice it to say, Alice has her hands full with Frank, trying to figure out who his dad is, and dealing with Mimi and Xander (Frank's piano teacher).  Talk about a 24 hour job!

Told through Alice's point of view, we get to learn about a unique little boy who loves old movies, detests being touched, and is devoted to his mother.  Frank is definitely not what Alice expected, but sometimes the unexpected leads to great things.  Or in Alice's case - big life changes.  I think its Frank's penchant for following his own path that leads Alice to really look at her life.  Along with the chaos that is considered a typical day at the Banning home. 

And that is all I will write.  I know its not much.  The truth is, Be Frank With Me is a story you need to experience for your self.  Its a charming read that is sad, funny, and beautiful.  There is a depth to it that you will appreciate.  I absolutely loved this book and think that you will, too.  

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Be Frank With Me
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)


Ti said...

I have this one. It is scheduled to be my next read. It sounds quirky which I typically enjoy.

bermudaonion said...

Frank sounds wonderful. I'm looking forward to this book.

Lark said...

That's quite a recommendation! This one sounds like a must-read. :) Thanks!

Nadia said...

Ti, I think you'll enjoy it. Let me know what you think of it!

Kathy, he really is. Enjoy the book!

Lark, it definitely is. Such a great read! Hope you enjoy it!!

The Bibliophile Belle said...

I've been looking forward to this one for quite some time, but was slightly worried that it wouldn't live up to the hype. I'm glad to see you had such a positive review of it! Looks like I'll be introverting a weekend away very soon reading this one :)

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour for this fantastic book!

Vintage Reading said...

I do like the sound of this. Sounds a bit like The Nanny Diaries which I loved!

Nadia said...

The Bibliophile Belle, it definitely lives up to the hype :) Definitely read it and let me know how you liked it. Enjoy!!

Heather, thanks for having me on the tour :)

Vintage Reading, it really is a good read. I loved that book, too!