Author: Julia Claiborne Johnson
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publish Date: September 6, 2016
Source: I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years, but now she’s writing her first book in decades and to ensure timely completion her publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress.
When Alice Whitley arrives she’s put to work as a companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric son, who has the wit of Noël Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth-graders. The longer she spends with the Bannings, the more Alice becomes obsessed with two questions: Who is Frank’s father? And will Mimi ever finish that book?"
My Two Cents:
"Be Frank with Me" is the endearing story of Alice, who goes to take care of Frank, the young and extremely eccentric son of Mimi, a reclusive writer. Alice hopes to get insight into Mimi, a woman who wrote extremely popular book and whose follow up seems to be elusive. What Alice doesn't realize is how in love she is going to fall with Frank, a strange little boy with a penchant for dressing impeccably. This book has hilarity and heartbreak, sometimes in equal doses and is definitely a good read.
I love a good quirky character! Our three main characters: Alice, Frank, and Mimi are quirky in very different ways. At first, Frank seemed a little over the top for me. He seemed quirky for the sake of being quirky. I was pleased to see that as the book unfolds, you can see why he is the way that he is. It is much more complicated than it seems at first. The relationship between him and his mother is so interesting to me. All Frank wants is to be loved but Mimi doesn't seem to have much love to give him in the traditional sense. So he tries to win her love by acting older and gleaning on to the things that he perceives that she likes.
And is there anything more interesting than a reclusive writer? Mimi is both overly protective and incredibly distant from her son. She keeps everyone at arm's length and seems to want a different life that she can't have. It is no wonder that Alice jumps at the chance to figure her out a little more through caring for her son.
This book explores so many different facets of relationships. Love is the undercurrent here, in all of its different forms.