Frances and Bernard

Frances and Bernard - Carlene Bauer My rating: 2.5 of 5 starsA copy of Frances and Bernard was provided to me by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Netgalley for review purposes.An epistolary novel, or a novel written solely in personal letters mainly between main characters Frances and Bernard. The novel is said to of been influenced by the lives of Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell, however, Frances and Bernard are far from a carbon copy. In an author interview with Publisher's Weekly, Carlene stated, "I didn’t want to write historical fiction, but I want readers to know that it was the temperaments, minds, and voices of these specific people that set me off."The beautiful writing was the only redeeming quality of this book for me, and it was quite beautiful. The story was heavily steeped in religious fervor. I found both Frances and Bernard to be quite a bore and their fanatical beliefs and constant discussion of them was really quite tiresome. As much personal details which are given in their letters there still managed to be a lack of connection between the reader and the characters themselves. I would naturally blame the style of writing, however, I was quite fond of the letters back and forth to one another. Reading a certain bit of the authors flawless prose was like a beacon of light, I only wish the entire novel shone more brightly as a whole.

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