Thursday, December 31, 2015
Be Frank With Me
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to get into a book, it just ends up with frustration and disappointment and thus is the case for Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson. While it was the back cover's premise that initially made me want to pick this book up and read it, it seemed like somehow things might have gotten a bit mixed up in the process. This is one of the very few books I've reviewed where the results are far less than expected and at one point in reading the book, I simply did not sleep. As any great mother knows in her heart, there isn't anything you wouldn't do or give up for the sake of your child, yet in this one it is the one thing that simply did not sit well with me.
The main character is Mimi who made her fame and fortune with a book she wrote in her 20's that made her the success she is today. However now in her 50's, she is living in Hollywood with the notion to attempt to repeat her prior success. The only thing standing in her way is her young son Frank who is mentally challenged and thus the reason she keeps him home and away from everything in the world. Poor Frank is so desperate for his mother's attention, he tries everything in hopes she will notice him. In order to accomplish writing her book which her publicist is thrilled to help with, he offers to send her an assistant to help with Frank so Mimi can work uninterrupted and Frank will have a care giver of sorts in Mary Alice.
Mimi confines herself to her room to write her book and even bypasses her meals with Mary Alice and Frank insisting they be left at her door. She is simply too busy to be bothered. Mimi hates that she has to depend on the help of Mary Alice in order to accomplish her writing but if she wants to write it, she must rely on her help. Meanwhile Frank's playground is his backyard because he simply doesn't interact well with other children and has been accused of breaking another child's arm in school. He takes to dressing in characters in hopes of entertaining himself and gaining his mother's attention but nothing works.
I received Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest evaluation of the book. This one was quite depressing for me and it seemed like no matter how hard I tried to gain a connection with any of the characters it was simply frustrating. In order for me to enjoy a book, I have to have a sense of a character's nature or motivation, a reason to care and quite honestly the only person I could care about was Frank who seemed to be the one in the greatest need but is wise well beyond his years and yet remains lost to the one person who should love him the most over her need to finish a book. For me this one rated a 2 out of 5 and was simply a book I couldn't recommend to any of my book loving friends to enjoy.
For more information about Be Frank With Me, Julia Claiborne Johnson or where you can preorder a copy of this novel which will be available in February 2016, please click on the links below:
You can find Julia Claiborne Johnson on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on Be Frank With Me, please visit William Morrow's website.