Meanwhile, in that subplot no one cares about with James Hurley…

15. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt – Caroline Preston

The author of this book works in an archive. This explains a lot, like the thinness of the story when held up against the coolness of the imagery. The clipped art in this book is really cool and sometimes tailoring a story to the images you have available can be very tricky. In the archive I work for, the requests and the images available rarely match up perfectly so I understand. And people never request the super cool stuff, if only they really knew what was back there – they’d want to touch it and that just cannot be.

Anyway, the story is a little cliché: poor girl works as house-help, meets older, mysterious rich man, highjinks ensue, advantage is nearly taken, she’s paid to go away… This one time, I read a short story called “How I Met My Husband” by Alice Munro that subverts this kind of meeting of an older, mysterious man story and that was a pleasant read. Anyway, so Miss Frankie leaves for college and then she has a roomie from New York who shows her the richer side of life and then she does some stuff, mind expands, she’s totally writing about it, that’s college for you, oh wait, there’s that dude with the mysterious past of oldness again and will she meet him in Paris? Will she? I dare you not to raise one eyebrow in anticipation of how that situation will work out. But I love him!

Mortemer is tired of trying to convince Twiglet not to flee to Paris: “Fine, live in squalor like the pseudo-bohemian you’ve always wanted to be. Go for it. I’ll tell your mother.”


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