Book Review: Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson


Be Frank With Me

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Books Like This: Woman No. 17 by Eden Lepucki

This is one of the rare books that affected me in ways that I never expected.

I finished this book and it had me reflecting for days. It was different than anything that I’ve ever read.

Frank 1

Mimi Banning is a reclusive author living in Bel Air as a single mom with her ‘on the spectrum’ 9 year old son, Frank. Mimi is writing another book and to ensure timely completion her publisher sends an assistant, Alice Whitley, to monitor her progress. Alice becomes a full-time companion to Frank, a very intelligent, special boy with an eccentric personality and a 1930s wardrobe. This is the story of Frank, Alice, Mimi, and their time in Bel Air while Mimi is writing her book.

Frank 2

It was full of heart and so enjoyable. It had the most wonderful characters I’ve read in a long time. Each character is so well written, well developed, and they come to life for the reader. They are flawed but mostly in harmless ways. Frank will capture your heart and you will fall in love with him.

This book is a lighthearted, easy read with an interesting cast of characters that you will become attached to. It’s also laugh out loud funny!

9 year old Frank is my favorite, with his obsession of 1930s film stars and their wardrobes.

This novel is about love, acceptance, opening up your heart to diversity, differences and embracing all facets of a person, good or bad.

There were many Los Angeles references, including the Bel Air mansion where Frank and his reclusive novelist mother Mimi live.

I loved the humor, the characters, the way that the author educates the reader on autistic children, and the impact that this book had on me.

The ending was not open enough for a sequel, and it did leave a few loose ends but my hope is that the author writes another book about Frank to continue his story.

Overall, this is an unforgettable book for me – inspiring and uplifting yet a bit sad, had me smiling and laughing throughout and on the verge of tears a few times. My review doesn’t do this book justice, but all I can say is that I highly recommend it. I give this FIVE stars, and that is very rare for me!!

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