Friday, February 22, 2013

Frances and Bernard

Letters. I opened Carlene Bauer’s short novel, Frances and Bernard, not sure whether the form would work. Bauer structured the novel as an exchange of letters mostly between Frances Reardon and Bernard Eliot, writers who met at an artist’s colony in the late 1950s. Their friendship intensifies through these finely written letters, and Bauer’s writing shines for any reader who enjoys fine writing. Both protagonists are complex characters and the ways in which Bauer reveals their complexity made me love reading this novel. The novel is an engaging story of friendship, art, mental illness, faith and love. This is the finest debut novel that I’ve read in many years. Rating: Five-star (I love it) Click here to purchase Frances and Bernard from

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