Book Review - Be Frank With Me

by Julia Claiborne Johnson (Corvus) ISBN: 9781782399179

Julia Claiborne Johnson is an American journalist and this is her debut novel.
Mimi, known as M.M. Banning, is another Harper Lee. She is a reclusive writer who had one literary bestseller. Mimi decides to write a second novel, because she has lost all her money. Upon her request, her editor sends his own assistant Alice, so Mimi can meet her deadline. 

Alice has to look after Mimi’s nine-year-old autistic son, Frank. He is intelligent and unusual, because he dresses like a 1930s movie star. Despite his tantrums, he is lovable and funny. Be Frank With Me refers to his need for honesty. 

The story sounds appealing, but I struggled through the first part, because Frank is a walking encyclopaedia. The information is overwhelming and it does not blend in naturally. The narrative then becomes a bit lengthy.

The novel is well-written, but when I was reading the blurb, I expected a book like Mark Haddon’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It did not live up to my expectations.  

Pauline Vijverberg


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