Julia Claiborne Johnson makes her fiction debut with this infectious novel that combines the charming pluck of Eloise, the poignant psychological quirks of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and the page-turning spirit of Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
Reclusive author and literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. After the phenomenal success of her first novel 20 years earlier, Mimi has never written again. However, Mimi now finds herself forced to write a second novel because she been “swindled of her fortune by a crooked investment adviser.” To ensure timely completion, her publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. Mimi complies but with a few conditions: 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 remarkable wit, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth graders.
As she gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who his father is, how his gorgeous piano teacher Xander fits into the Banning family equation and whether Mimi will ever finish the book.
Be Frank With Me is a captivating and heartwarming story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.
There’s so much to love about this novel: the hilarious one-liners, the unforgettable characters, the unexpected moments of tenderness and all the funny, sad, poignant twists and turns this story takes.