In this Tracy-Hepburn romance a sophisticated New York intellectual is charmed by a down-to-earth newspaperman.
is the tale of a summer cottage and the story that unfolds under its roof. As Liz Smith raved, “It offers a kind of Hepburn-Tracy love idyll, punctuated by mussels found in the Sound, dripping fir trees, armies of marauding mice, cars held together with bailing wire, sailboats and putt-putts and two writers locked together in their admiration of nature and fine words. I’ve never read anything quite like it.” Jim Sterba is the down-to-earth newspaperman who charms the New York sophisticate, Frances FitzGerald, after several visits to her writer’s retreat on the coast in MaineFrankie’s place is a secluded little house out of harm’s way and the clamor of the modern world.
Icy plunges into the Somes Sound christen their island mornings; then there is a long period of dutiful writing followed, in the late afternoon, by rigorous mountain walks, forays for wild mushrooms, and sailing. In the evenings Jim and Frankie prepare simple island meals as they talk about everything from the stories or books they’re working on to the bigger issue of Jim’s reunion with his long-lost father. Although they couldn’t have had more disparate childhoodsJim grew up on a struggling Michigan farm while Frankie lived in a Manhattan town house and an English country estatetheir shared summer rituals have them falling in love before our eyes. In its starred review, Publishers Weekly praised the memoir as “beautiful . . . a glimpse not just of a person but of a time and place worth noting. [Frankie’s Place
] is suffused with love of every stripe, from the romantic kind to the kind one might feel for a place, a way of life and a really good dinner.”
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