Imagine exploring a distant relative’s attic — you’re modeling vintage clothes in a rusted mirror and peeking into steam trunks. Then, you find a tattered book. The spine cracks as you open the cover. In capitalized typewriter font, you read “This scrapbook belongs to: Frankie Pratt. (Private!).”
Private? Well, not so much. Our December Book of the Month lays out the exciting and romantic life of a young woman in the 1920s. Author Caroline Preston writes this novel not in typical prose, but in collages of postcards, magazine pages, black and white photographs letters, ticket stubs, and pieces of typewritten paper. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is so much more than just a story.
After graduating from high school, Frankie’s mother gifts her with a blank scrapbook. After picking up her deceased father’s Corona typewriter, Frankie begins to fill the scrapbook’s pages with her life. From her first whirlwind romance, to her years at Vassar, to living in Paris, Frankie saves and displays every iota of her life in her scrapbook. Though it’s set almost nine decades ago, the reader is certainly drawn to and can relate to her story.
And the way the book looks! Amazing. If you’re a fan of sites like My Vintage Vogue, then you’ll want to flip through this book over and over again. The full color, glossy pages brim with Jazz Age images, Art Nouveau style, beautiful hand-printed ’20s ads, drop-waist dresses, cloches, you name it. There’s even a cameo by poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.
As a former archivist, author Caroline Preston shows her great admiration for scrapbooking and ephemera through this magnificently original novel. Perfect for a long plane ride and later for a rainy day, you’ll want to keep coming back to this book. Hint hint, it’s a great gift for a lover of antiques and vintage.
Eager to join our monthly discussion and have a chance to win a copy of The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt?
Discussion question: Have you ever found relatives’ old love letters, photo albums, or scrapbooks that revealed a whole new view of your family?
- You have until Friday, December 16, 2011 to participate.
- Though you may leave comments after the above date, any comments left after 11:59 p.m. PT on December 16 will not be counted into the giveaway.
- Only comments left on this blog post will be counted.
- We will contact you via e-mail if you are a winner.
- For more information, please see our Contests & Comments page.