First line: Because the station wagon blew up in the fire, Frank and I took the bus to the hospital.
The Plot: When reclusive author M. M. Banning runs into financial trouble, she needs to write another book fast. So her New York Editor, Isaac Vargas, sends his young assistant, Alice Whitley, to California to help her out. But what Alice ends up primarily doing is taking care of Banning's nine-year-old son, Frank, and trying to stay out of Mimi's way. Alice soon learns that there are two important rules when it comes to Frank: Never touch his stuff, and Never touch him. Frank is an exasperating, funny, eccentric, smart, disaster-prone child who does not play well with others. He dresses like an old Hollywood movie star. And while he loves watching old movies, his mother, and their here today, gone tomorrow piano-playing handyman, Xander, he does not love Alice. At least, not at first.
My thoughts: This is a charming and very entertaining novel. Alice's struggles with both Frank and his mother made me laugh. It was fun to watch her grow up. And I really loved Frank. This bookish gem is essentially a book about families and how sometimes the best ones are made up of people who are completely unrelated to one another. It has both heart and humor, and I liked it a lot.