Something New Under the Sun: The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures
Caroline Preston, author of Jackie by Josie, Gatsby’s Girl, and Lucy Crocker 2.0, has invented a new literary form—the scrapbook novel. Within the pages of The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures, Preston introduces readers to an adventurous young woman who receives a scrapbook as a graduation present and finds an old Corona typewriter belonging to her father in the basement—a little worse for wear but serviceable. Thus starts the beginning of Frankie Pratt’s scrapbook and Caroline Preston’s novel.
What makes The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures unique is the way Preston tells Frankie’s story. Terse scraps of typewritten prose combine with authentic period photographs, advertisements, clippings, and post-cards from 1920 when Frankie was living at home in Cornish Flat, New Hampshire, and just graduating high school, through 1928 when Frankie returns to Cornish and marries (after attending Vassar, living in Greenwich Village, and traveling the world—most notably, Paris.) In her travels, Frankie meets writers, celebrities, artsy types, and bohemians.
Her journey of discovery is peppered with observations about literature of the period, her snooty college roommate, and the people she meets as she experiences facets of life unknown in Cornish Flat. Commenting on F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise, Frankie notes, “I take it as a zoological study of how rich college boys think and talk,” and finds it “more useful than my zoology text, which I am 2 chapters behind in already!”
The story is sweet without being cloying, and experiencing it is like finding Grandmother’s scrapbook and discovering what her life was really like before she met Grandfather.Continued on the next page