Be Frank with Me (Johnson)

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also, consider these LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for Be Frank with Me...then take off on your own:

1. What's the matter with M.M. Banning—not just that she was swindled out of a fortune...but what's really wrong with her? Deeply wrong?

2. Frank never receives a "formal diagnosis" in the book. Does he need one? Would you consider him Asperger-ish? Describe some of his more unusual qualities, especially his sartorial habits. Do you find him endearing...or not?

3. What is Alice like? She appears naive, but is she? Would you say that's she's the ideal person for the job? In what way might you say she's a foil for Alice?

4. Follow up to Question 3: Why is Alice so interested in finding out who Frank's father is?

5. Why does Mimi never warm up to Alice?

6. Comparisons have been made with this book and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. If you've read Mark Haddon's novel, do you see similarities between the two books?

7. Mimi describes the other mothers in California this way:

If you ask me, I think every small town mean girl in America who's pretty but not much else comes out here to die. The ones who smile like lunatics and wear yoga pants all day are the worst. At PTA meetings they're like those chickens that have to wear tiny glasses in poultry barns so they won't peck each other's eyes out.

If you're from California, does this description offend you? Or does it fit? If you're not from California, do you know people (men or women) like this?

8. Zander—what about him? He seems reliable but not always, and he can't seem to commit to anyone. Why not? Once Zander enters the story, the focus of the novel shifts. What does his character bring to the plot?

9. Almost everyone in this book is affected by loss: how does each character cope with his/her sadness? Is it ever possible to fill the gap someone has left behind?

10. Did you find the book funny? Pinpoint and read aloud some of the more humorous passages.

11.Consider the ending: does it tie up all the loose strings...or feel somewhat unresolved? Some love the ending, others find it lacking. What do you think?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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