The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston – Book Review

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston
Published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins

When Frankie Pratt graduates from high school in 1920 she has a scrapbook, a typewriter, and a dream of attending Vassar. Caroline Preston’s The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt follows Frankie through her early adulthood – at Vassar, in New York, and in Paris – in the pursuit of being able to support herself with her writing.

I can only imagine that locating and selecting vintage 1920s ephemera to match her story must have been both excruciating and a great deal of fun. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is a visual feast, a tantalizing sketch of the life of an ambitious young girl in the early 20th century. Preston does take some liberties with the form, Frankie’s scrapbook is a good deal more expository and diary-esque than most would be, but not to a point that strains credulity. Certainly a less text-heavy version might have been difficult to engage with and lacking in emotion from the reader’s point of view. Frankie is a wonderful protagonist, alternately naive and pragmatic, and between her personality and the gorgeous pictures, The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is a joy to experience.

The following are some of my favorite page spreads from The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt to give you an idea of just how beautiful it is.

Page 17 shows some of the things that Frankie does with her friends at home. It also give you an example of the slightly overly expository nature of the scrapbook in its attempt to get more characterization of Frankie:

After graduation, Frankie heads to New York City; here she (pgs 94-95) is trying to get her bearings:

Finally, page 112 might be my favorite page in the entire book, Frankie’s record of her time out on the town with Oliver:

Really, how can you lose with these gorgeous pictures? Highly recommended – and hint, hint, it would make a lovely Christmas gift!

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher, all pictures used with permission.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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9 comments to The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston – Book Review

  • That does look like fun!

  • I finally broke down and bought this one in print (something I never do), but I’ve loved all of her other books, and I think it’s one actually worth owning and loaning. Glad you loved it!

  • This book looks so great! I have a gift card I haven’t used yet… So, maybe…

  • I’ve got this one waiting for me at the library. It looks so good!

  • I hadn’t heard of this one, but it looks like I’ll have to check it out. Looks fun!

  • I m so excited to read this one! I added it to my wish list so hopefully I get a copy for Christmas.

  • Amy

    I enjoyed your review very much, Jen! What an entertaining and interesting book. I tend to enjoy when stories are set at a college or university as this one is while Frankie’s at Vassar. But, of course, this captivating aspect of this book is the format. Thank you, thank you for including some of your favorite pages from the book. I’ve read a few other reviews, all positive, but they described the format and although I understood I couldn’t quite picture what the pages of this book looked like. I love them…what a wonderful, fun idea. I couldn’t read every book in a format like this but I love it especially for this book, it sounds fitting. I’m also so impressed with Caroline Preston’s creativity and ingenuity!

  • My wife just got this one for me — I can’t wait as it looks marvelous!

  • This looks stunning and fun.