Friday, November 11, 2011

book review: The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston

The backstory: I've been eagerly awaiting Caroline Preston's latest novel since I first heard about it.

The basics: The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is, aptly, a scrapbook Frankie Pratt has made of her life. It's a novel in pictures, but not quite a graphic novel. Preston's words are as illuminating as the objects she pairs them with. Amazon allows you to download a sample, and it is worth seeing for yourself.

My thoughts: I've enjoyed all of Caroline Preston's previous books, which are all so different, and this one is certainly no exception. I devoured this historical scrapbook even as I savored it. I could not wait to see where Frankie's adventures would take us, yet I hesitated to turn the pages because there was so much visual treasure to explore. In many ways it's a difficult novel to write about because the writing, which is quite strong, is not the star of the novel. It's a visual delight with remarkable depth and character development.

The verdict: The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is a fascinating, unique and deeply affecting story of a woman. Frankie is a fascinating historical figure who led an interesting life; she's a character I will think of for years to come.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 240 pages
Publication date: October 25, 2011
Source: I bought it (and bought a copy for my mother too)

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  1. I so want to read this one now that all the great reviews of it are coming out all over the place! Sandy and Kathy loved it, and thought that it was a great read, and though I had the chance to pick it up at one point, I didn't! Now I am kicking myself for that! Great review today on this one. I am so glad that you enjoyed it!

  2. I picked this up and took a peek inside it! It looks wonderful and now I really can't wait to read it!

  3. I have this one on my wish list and if I don't get it for Christmas I will definitely be buying it for myself. I can't wait to read it!

  4. This sounds really interesting...I had to add it to the list!

  5. I flipped through this one at the bookstore the other day and just could not see how I would enjoy reading it... it didn't make sense to me.. but I'll take your (and Sandy's) word for it!

  6. This book sounds so different and I love historical fiction. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!

  7. Caroline Preston was at the bookshop this weekend - While I knew that she hadn't photoshopped the memorabilia, I didn't realize that she had made actual scrapbook pages that were photographed by HarperCollins (not scanned) to preserve the feeling of dimension.

    I imagine she had a good time collecting all the historical documents!


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