"Beautifully written, brimming with insight, mystery, and benevolent wit; Julia Claiborne Johnson had me gripped from the first chapter to the final page of Be Frank With Me."?Julia Sweeney, author, actress, and comedienne Reclusive literary legend M. M. "Mimi" Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff?style Ponzi scheme, she's flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. The prickly Mimi reluctantly complies?with a few stipulations: No Ivy Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane. When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she's put to work right away?as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer's eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of No?l Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth graders. As she gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who his father is, how his gorgeous "piano teacher and itinerant male role model" Xander fits into the Banning family equation?and whether Mimi will ever finish that book. Full of heart and countless only-in-Hollywood moments, Be Frank With Me is a captivating and heartwarming story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world. Advance praise for Be Frank With Me "Be Frank With Me is that rare, hits-me-just-right book I am always hoping to find when browsing: Witty, but never cutesy. Deeply felt, but never sentimental. Peopled with deeply flawed, fully realized characters I cared about. It pulled me in so strongly that I found myself reading in that whole-body way that is a rare and luminous pleasure after childhood, so immersed that the phone and the dogs and the kids had to work to pull me out. I loved every minute I spent in Julia Claiborne Johnson's glass house with her cast of dedicated stone-throwers. This one is special?don't miss it." ?Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of The Opposite of Everyone "There's so much to love about this novel: the hilarious one-liners, the unforgettable characters, the unexpected moments of tenderness, and all the funny, sad, poignant twists and turns this story takes. I lost myself in these pages and you will too."?John Searles, nationally bestselling author of Help for the Haunted "What a charmer this book is! From the very first page, I fell hard for Frank, an adorable oddball with an amazing brain, a wardrobe to die for, and a lonely fragility that pierced my heart again and again. When I finished, I wished him and his makeshift, off-beat family well?and immediately began missing him."?Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Love Walked In and The Precious One "Be Frank With Me is complex, nuanced, detailed, and profound. In other words, funny, in the best, most resonant way. Read it with both eyes because it will delight both the thinky and the feely parts of your brain."?Dave Foley, comedian and, technically, actor "Julia Claiborne Johnson has written an effervescent gem of a novel, expertly balancing on a literary tightrope between lighthearted and heartbreaking. Be Frank With Me is peopled by characters at once utterly unique and entirely authentic. I may reread this book just to spend more time with Frank."?Laura Nicole Diamond, author of Shelter Us.