For her graduation from high school in 1920, Frankie Pratt receives a scrapbook and her father's old Corona typewriter. Despite Frankie's dreams of becoming a writer, she must forgo a college scholarship to help her widowed mother. But when a mysterious Captain James sweeps her off her feet, her mother finds a way to protect Frankie from the less-than-noble intentions of her unsuitable beau.
Through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus, and more, we meet and follow Frankie on her journey in search of success and love. Once at Vassar, Frankie crosses paths with intellectuals and writers, among them "Vincent" (alumna Edna St. Vincent Millay), who encourages Frankie to move to Greenwich Village and pursue her writing. When heartbreak finds her in New York, she sets off for Paris aboard the S.S. Mauritania, where she keeps company with two exiled Russian princes and a "spinster adventuress" who is paying her way across the Atlantic with her unused trousseau. In Paris, Frankie takes a garret apartment above Shakespeare & Company, the hub of expat life, only to have a certain ne'er-do-well captain from her past reappear. But when a family crisis compels Frankie to return to her small New England hometown, she finds exactly what she had been looking for all along.
Author of the New York Times Notable Book Jackie by Josie, Caroline Preston pulls from her extraordinary collection of vintage ephemera to create the first-ever scrapbook novel, transporting us back to the vibrant, burgeoning bohemian culture of the 1920s and introducing us to an unforgettable heroine, the spirited, ambitious, and lovely Frankie Pratt.
|Publish Date:||Oct 2011|
|Number of Pages:||228|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||2.0|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||6.47 x 0.93 x 9.27|
The year is 1920. With her father's old Corona and the scrapbook her mother gave her for a high school graduation gift, Frankie Pratt decides to keep a journal. After all, she does want to be a writer. Via Frankie's full-color scrapbook illustrated with vintage memorabilia, archivist Preston (Jackie by Josie; Gatsby's Girl) carries us from Vassar to Greenwich Village and all the way to Paris before we return home to Cornish Flat, NH. Frankie is swept along by a powerful tide of popular and bohemian culture-picture palaces, Coney Island, the Yankees, the automat, Prohibition, Paris cafes, Josephine Baker, James Joyce, and Lucky Lindy all make their impression on her.
Although her life seems improbably packed with incident and the plot somewhat echoes the pulp romances of the time, Frankie is a believable and likable character. She has the convincing voice of a modern young woman in a time of change: both practical and dreamy, knowing and innocent.
Verdict: The vintage scrapbook is an effective vehicle for an entertaining coming-of-age story steeped in the pop culture of the Roaring Twenties. A highly enjoyable read well suited to historical romance fans and scrapbook ers alike.
[See Prepub Alert, 6/6/11.] - Julia Cox, Penticton P.L., B.C.
(c). Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
When she graduates from high school in 1920, Frankie gets a scrapbook and her father's old Corona, which keeps her busy at Vassar and thereafter, as she pursues a writing career and sails for France on the SS Mauritania. Her story is illustrated with various memorabilia appropriate to scrapbooking: vintage postcards, magazine ads, ticket stubs, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, menus, and more. Sounds charming, and Preston's Jack by Josie did well; the 40,000-copy first printing and an eight-city tour are good news.
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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