October saw me devour a few excellent novels!
Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson: “For one boy, fitting in means standing out.” I loved, loved, loved this story. Frank is the 10-year-old son of a one-hit-wonder author (think Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird). The story revolves around Frank, Mimi, his mother, as she struggles to write the much anticipated second novel, and Alice, the assistant sent from the publishers to babysit them both. At no point in the story is the word Autism mentioned, but it’s crystal clear that Frank is on the spectrum. Claiborne Johnson makes no mention of any disability when describing Frank’s quirks and oddities. In an interview with her at the back of the book, she says, “I wanted Frank to represent all the brilliant oddballs, real and fictional, diagnosed and undiagnosed.” I think she does that fantastically well. You should really read this book.
Munich by Robert Harris : Having just finished, and enjoyed, Conclave, I was delighted to hear Robert Harris being interviewed by Simon Mayo on BBC Radio 2 recently. Having read Fatherland years ago, I knew that here was a novel that both The Brainy One and I would enjoy. Set in 1938 at the time of the Munich Agreement, the story switches between two old university friends, Hugh Legat and Paul Hartmann, who haven’t seen each other for six years. Both are prepared to risk everything in order to thwart Hitler’s plan for Czechoslovakia. “When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?”
Origin by Dan Brown: Featuring the return of Brown’s popular character, Robert Langdon, our hero of the hour “must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself … and who will stop at nothing …” Looming large in the story is Barcelona and the genius/craziness (delete as appropriate) of Antonio Gaudi, which given our visit over the Summer was an added attraction.
I also read To Siri, with Love this month and you can read my thoughts on that here.