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Yvette - Bookworlder

Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.

 

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures - Caroline Preston

This scrapbook/diary is such a nice change of pace from the standard novel form.  Told in letters, clippings, and typed diary entries, this is Frankie's life from 1920-1928.  After graduating from high school in small town New Hampshire, and being swept up into her first indiscretion, we follow her to Vassar as a scholarship student, to Greenwich Village where she attempts to become a paid writer and onto the Mauretania (Cunard Line) for a third class Atlantic crossing with an adventuress and Russian royalty, and onto Paris where she lives in a room above Shakespeare & Co. only to be called back home by a family emergency.  Along the way we experience her friendships and romances, and meet Edna St. Vincent Millay, James Joyce and Shakespeare & Co.'s Sylvia Beach.

 

The spare storytelling lends itself to the scrapbook style and makes for a quick read.  One could easily spend more time enjoying the vintage ephemera that fills each page than on actually reading the diary entries, or going for a second "read" without reading at all.  Overall, a fun concept and a novel that captures a bit of the spirit of the 1920's and tells an authentic feeling tale.   I quite enjoyed it, and recommend it for those who enjoy 1920's literature and the diary form.