Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Blog Tour: Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Author: Julia Claiborne Johnson
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: February 2016

Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi scheme, she’s flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. The prickly Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy-Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.

When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noel Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth-graders.

As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank’s father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and itinerant male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

I always go into a book with the best of intentions.  I never really want to abandon a book halfway through, but I'll be frank with you, this book really didn't work for me.  I had a hard time getting into Be Frank With Me.  The premise is that author M.M. Banning once wrote a best seller and hasn't written anything since.  She now wants to write a new book because she needs money.  Her publisher sends his assistant to help her get the book written.  Alice soon finds out that her job is actually as a babysitter for Mimi's 9 YO son.

The problem that I had with the book is that everyone was a bit too quirky for me. It was all a little over the top.  I found Mimi rude and unlikable.  If she called Alice "Penny" on more time, I think I was going to scream.  One of my biggest questions was about Frank.  Was he on the autism spectrum or was he just a spoiled and over-indulged child?  It was all a bit strange to me. I had a hard time buying that a recluse would allow a complete stranger into her home and on top of that let said stranger to take care of her child. I know that sometimes you have to suspend disbelief, but I couldn't in this case.  

I know I am totally in the minority on this point.  Check out what others are saying in the list below.

About the author:

Julia Claiborne Johnson worked at Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines before marrying and moving to Los Angeles, where she lives with her comedy-writer husband and their two children.

Connect with Julia on Facebook and Twitter.

Julia’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, February 2nd: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, February 3rd: Walking With Nora
Thursday, February 4th: Doing Dewey
Friday, February 5th: Book Hooked Blog
Monday, February 8th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Tuesday, February 9th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, February 11th: A Bookworm’s World
Monday, February 15th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, February 16th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Wednesday, February 17th: girlichef
Thursday, February 18th: Thoughts On This ‘n That

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour.