Thursday, 3 October 2013

Flying for Frankie by Pauline Fisk

Charis Watts and Frankie Bradley are unlikely friends. Charis comes from an ordinary, slightly awkward family. Frankie is a bit of a princess and her family are unbelievably rich. Yet they become the best of friends – which is just as well because Frankie really needs a friend when she becomes very ill with cancer and so does Charis when her family nearly falls apart as her father all but starts an affair with Gran’s friend who also happens to be one of Frankie’s nurses.
As I’m a writer myself and also lecture in creative writing I suffer from extraordinarily acute episodes of the jabbering critic and it wouldn’t quite go away with this one, even though normally the trigger for a book being listed here is that it shuts that critic right up. I wondered here why the writer didn’t allow us to watch the development of the girls’ friendship a little more closely. I sometimes thought that the young protagonist couldn’t possibly think in some of the language the writer had used.
Yet despite all for this the book engaged me enough to be listed here. How?
It is the authenticity of the emotions portrayed that make this book appealing. We experience everything through Charis’s viewpoint. At times she is very frail and sometime she is very strong. And we are kept reading because we wonder how she is going to fulfill the promise of the title. That too brings some surprises.