Be Frank With Me was made especially enjoyable because of the young and spunky narrator, Frank. Here, the literary agent Alice worked for sent her to babysit a prominent author’s sons while the author wrote a much anticipated second novel. Set in the Hollywood hills, the reclusive author had been out of the public eye for so long that she had become a bit odd. Her son Frank was also an oddball, but in a delightful way that made this book humorous and enchanting!
Frank dressed as if it were the forties, with top hat, tails, slacks, and spats. His manner of speaking mimicked a script of a black and white movie and was beyond the maturity for his age. Frank’s uncanny ability to recall lots and lots of facts about just about everything (Hollywood trivia, Nobel peace prize winners, and brain injuries) was relayed in a humorous way that made me laugh out loud throughout the novel.
I was surprised by how much I liked this given that this was not a plot driven novel, and in fact, very little happened. The majority of this just followed Alice and Frank around as they interacted with each other, which bounced from one crazy scene after another. Near the end, their relationship was tested when Frank’s mother disappeared in a sort of Where’d You Go Bernadette style.
Within a short time, Alice grew protective of Frank and did things that were aimed at helping him. That meant that Alice sometimes went against the direct wishes of Frank, his mother, and even the law. These characters matured, but weren’t necessarily in dire need of growth. Somehow they didn’t need to be. They didn’t need a tortured back story filled with pain for this to work, it just did.
Not since The Borrower have I enjoyed a young protagonist this much. I can’t recommend this enough! In fact, this will be my pick for my book club!