The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: a novel in pictures by Caroline Preston
Review by Lauren
Source: personal copy; opinions are my own
Official Summary: The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is a visually stunning, totally
unique, full-color novel in the form of a scrapbook, set in the
burgeoning bohemian culture of the 1920s and featuring an endearing,
unforgettable heroine. Caroline Preston, author of the New York Times Notable Book Jackie by Josie,
uses a kaleidoscopic array of vintage memorabilia—postcards, letters,
magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy
wrappers, fashion spreads, menus and more—to tell the tale of spirited
and ambitious Frankie’s remarkable odyssey from Vassar to Greenwich
Village to Paris, in a manner that will delight crafters, historical
fiction fans, and anyone who loves a good coming-of-age story
Review: One crafty thing that I love to do is scrapbook, so when I heard about this first-ever scrapbook novel, I knew I had to read it. I actually bought this book awhile ago and finally took it out last month for a read-a-thon. It was obviously a quick read, as each page is set up like a scrapbook, but it still felt complete.
The best way to review this novel is to show you pages from the book, so you understand how things are set up. I will include various “pages” that I found online.
Each chapter takes place somewhere different, starting in Frankie’s childhood home of New Hampshire. She then goes to college at Vassar, lives and works in Greenwich Village NYC, goes to Paris to work, and finally, she comes full circle home again. While each page is a part of Frankie’s scrapbook, she fills the book with plenty of details about her life and story so that the reader is getting a complete look at a period of her life. You learn about her friends, her love life, and her desire to have a wonderful writing career. Frankie felt familiar in some ways. She wants to find true love, but she won’t settle, and she wants to fully experience the world despite it being the 1920’s and her a single woman. She travels and she learns. She won’t let the time period or her gender change the life she wants to lead and it’s definitely commendable.
The various information included on every page was great fun to look at. Preston did a great job including a variety of vintage items to fit the story she was telling. I really loved the vintage photos that she used as pictures of the characters in the book so that the reader gets a more “realistic” look at what these men and women look like. Preston was definitely true to a scrapbook and it made me want to work on my own after reading this book.
I would suggest this book for people who like books set in other centuries, for those that like coming of age novels, for those that like “crafty” or “unique” storytelling in books, and for anyone that simply wants an interesting, quick story.
Be sure to click on all the photos above to get a closer look at the scrapbook pages within this book. It really is full of great detail! This is a book to treasure, and a wonderful choice for a gift.
Make it a Gift
And speaking of making it a gift, you can add a smash book with this to give to a friend and it would make a wonderful present.
KandCompany offers many smash book products such as the book and some of the fun items you can include in them! What’s great about a smash book is that it’s almost like a slightly pre-built scrapbook. The pages are different colors and designs and you simply add the photos, tickets, and memorabilia you want on each page. You can then use stamps, stickers, and other scrapbook items to further decorate the page, and voila, everything is all in one book for you to enjoy!