Be Frank with Me

Johnson, Julia Claiborne

  18 Reviews

'Girl Friday' Alice Whitley's mission is to keep LA writer MM 'Mimi' Banning on track with her new novel. However, Alice's literary skills prove not to be in demand but her skills as a companion to Mimi's young son most certainly are. A member of an unusual household, Frank is not your average nine-year-old; he is an outright eccentric, ridiculously obsessed with Old Hollywood, far too clever for his own good and a total mystery to other children.

Both entertaining and poignant, this is a thought-provoking story of irresistible characters that delightfully demonstrates conformity is overrated.



TAUM 003
Enjoyed by all members - an accurate analysis and sympathetic portrayal of ADHD/Autism.
CHCH 523
Quite a few points for discussion with such a cast of characters, but not the most well received book for the group.
CHCH 449
We all agreed that this is a book worth reading. Although we may not have liked all the characters, the narrative flowed well and the relationships and humour made it an enjoyable story.
TAUR 059
Very mixed reaction to the characters in the book particularly Frank, with some finding him quirky, charming and entertaining, and others annoying, unrealistic & unlikeable. Lively discussion on plot, Zander & Alice's relationship, and most of all the ending with some feeling let down by the abruptness of Alices departure and the lack of any real closure, but others feeling she left Mimi & Frank in a good place. Everyone found it an easy read and thought it well-written.
TAUR 061
To be 'frank' we saw this as a light read. Claiborne presents us with an eclectic mix of characters. Frank is the star. When we first meet him he lacks any boundaries living with a damaged and ethereal Mum, burdened by her past. Alice, Mimi's 'Girl Friday', is the catalyst for change for both Frank and Mimi; we feel confident by the end of the book everyone will be AOK! We are reminded that we are shaped by our life experiences, good and bad, and unless we have walked in someone else's shoes, we have no right to judge.
CHCH 240
Our group had a great discussion. We loved Frank! And learned a lot from him - but we were all glad he wasn't our son or lived next door! Very enjoyable, a light read, parts were a bit bizarre, with a few chuckles along the way. A little frustrated with the sudden ending - we wanted to know more....
A light read. A couple of our group started but didn't finish the book finding it a bit ploddy. Others really enjoyed the humour after some of our more confronting recent reads. Generated discussion about schooling and how society in general responds to diversity - is it helpful to have a label to explain 'behaviour' How accepting are we of behaviours that are outside the 'norm'
Our group thoroughly enjoyed this quite light book. Quirky, humorous and slightly tragic. Some found the ending a bit flat and the sentences disjointed but others found it added to the intrigue along with imaginative use of language.
We loved the book and really wanted it to continue. A very enjoyable read.
NELS 050
We loved this book - endearing characters, especially Frank. A recommended read!!
The majority of us loved this quirky book. Great discussion as to whether students with these problems should be 'labelled'.
TURA 002
A nice light read that most of us enjoyed. Compared to 'The 10pm Question' that we read a few months ago, it didn't have the same emotional impact.
CHCH 437
We all enjoyed this book! We thought there were a few loose ends at the conclusion, but on the whole a good book.
AUCK 272
Some people didn't like the footnote format but it was a good short read - 9 out of 10 read it which is impressive for our group.
A quirky story which initially was engaging and captured the reader's interest. Unfortunately this potential was eventually lost, leaving the reader feeling dissatisfied and plodding towards an ending which lacked punch.
CHCH 023
The majority enjoyed the book. It generated a lot of discussion on the personalities and 'quirks' of the characters.
AUCK 209
It was one of those occasions when our book club unanimously agreed that we had read a great book. The interesting characters were in itself enough, but on top of that it was humorous and well written. Top marks to the person who set the questions in the booklet. They were down to earth and relevant.
AUCK 272
Amazingly everyone read the book, and we all loved it!