We will kick off summer with a fun lighthearted read of “Be Frank with Me” by first time author Julia Claiborne Johnson. If you are looking for some other exciting reads see below for the other almost reads suggested by Kim Hall.
My top pick for a lighthearted Spring Break read is Be Frank With Me, the debut novel by Julia Claiborne Johnson that’s just out and already finding enthusiastic fans everywhere. Here’s the set-up: Mimi Banning is a single mother whose first book won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and topped the bestseller charts. Paralyzed by success and attention she doesn’t want, Mimi retreats into near-total seclusion in the hills of LA and hasn’t written a thing since. When she loses all of her savings in a Ponzi scheme, though, she is forced to write that elusive second novel. Her kind-hearted publisher sends her an assistant, Alice Whitley, who expects to help with the book but instead gets handed the daily care of Mimi’s 9-year-old son, Frank. He seems to be “on the spectrum”: brilliant; a sharp dresser; obsessed with old movies; not really able to get along with the other fourth graders. He’s also very funny! Frank’s story shows that it’s possible to make peace with the world without giving up your essential self, the sometimes even slightly crazy things that make you you. Hold onto these parts of yourself, the book gently reminds us – and hold onto those you love. One of my friends told me it was the best book she’d read since All The Light We Cannot See. “It’s very dear,” she said. Yes.
Other Suggested Reads:
“A Little Life” Hanya Yanagihara
“The Marriage of Opposites” Alice Hoffman