Frances and Bernard (2020)

Frances and Bernard Carlene Bauer Frances and Bernard Frances and Bernard meet in the summer of Afterward he writes her a letter Soon they are immersed in the kind of fast deep friendship that can change the course of our lives They find their way
  • Title: Frances and Bernard
  • Author: Carlene Bauer
  • ISBN: 9780544105171
  • Page: 282
  • Format: Paperback
Frances and Bernard Carlene Bauer Frances and Bernard meet in the summer of 1957 Afterward, he writes her a letter Soon they are immersed in the kind of fast, deep friendship that can change the course of our lives.They find their way to New York and, for a few whirling years, each other The city is a wonderland for young people with dreams cramped West Village kitchens, parties stocked with the sharp Frances and Bernard meet in the summer of 1957 Afterward, he writes her a letter Soon they are immersed in the kind of fast, deep friendship that can change the course of our lives.They find their way to New York and, for a few whirling years, each other The city is a wonderland for young people with dreams cramped West Village kitchens, parties stocked with the sharp witted and glamorous, taxis that can take you anywhere at all, long talks along the Hudson as the lights of the Empire State Building blink on above.Inspired by the lives of Flannery O Connor and Robert Lowell, Frances and Bernard imagines, through new characters with charms entirely their own, what else might have happened In the grandness of the fall, can we love another person so completely that we lose our dreams In witness to all the wonder of kindred spirits and bittersweet romance, Frances and Bernard is a tribute to the power of friendship and the people who help us discover who we are.
Frances and Bernard Carlene Bauer

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    Posted by:Carlene Bauer
    Published :2020-05-03T15:58:10+00:00

One thought on “Frances and Bernard

  1. Elyse

    I couldn t pull myself away from these corresponding letters inspired by the lives of Flannery O Conner and Robert Lowell Knowing that Flannery died of Lupus at age 39 so young added sadness Also, Robert died of a heart attack older , but had suffered from manic depression for years hospitalized many times However this book is written as a novel I consciously tried to separate their lives from the story of Frances and Bernardour fictional characters Life sure is not a straight line go to school [...]

  2. Rebecca Foster

    A sophisticated epistolary exchange between two fictional authors, based on the not quite love affair between Flannery O Connor and Robert Lowell With or without knowledge of its historical inspiration, though, this is an erudite and affecting novel.Novelist Frances Reardon and poet Bernard Eliot meet at a writers colony in the summer of 1957 Frances senses traces of John Donne in Bernard s spiritual poetry, and Bernard loves Frances s biting satire about a group of nuns They begin a corresponde [...]

  3. Jill

    So what we have here is an epistolary novel about writers who meet in a writer s colony, inspired by real life writers, and written by well, a writer Based very loosely on the real life correspondence of Flannery O Connor and Robert Lowell, Ms Bauer creates two characters that are sort of stand ins for the famous writing pair but not.The first thing the reader has to decide is, How much should the real O Connor Lowell story influence my reading My personal answer was, Not much Sure, O Connor wa [...]

  4. Bonnie

    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 fic [...]

  5. Emily

    Read this Read this now Romantic, beautiful and heartbreaking Edited After I finished this book, I considered re reading it immediately.

  6. Lou

    I would never had thought that reading letters could prove to be so interesting till now This novel concerns the meeting and befriending of two person both artists and have a keen belief in God There to and fro in letter replies from their beginning stages till there final letter paints a picture of love for each other, faith and writing He s a poet soon to publish and she s a visceral writer from Iowa s workshop soon to possibly publish her first book As their worlds meet one sways towards th [...]

  7. Myrthe

    More like 3,5 , I think.I have mixed feelings about this book I didn t really like the storyline I don t like love stories at all and I find them to be a bit boring Although this story isn t quite the typical love story, it still just wasn t working for me I didn t feel for the main characters and the abundance of Catholicism annoyed me at times.But then the writing style Oh, how I enjoyed the writing style Thought provoking, clever and just so beautiful, it was most certainly worth the lack of [...]

  8. Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Two writers meet at a workshop, and continue to correspond after This story is told entirely in letters, and the author pulls you in to their thoughts and emotions so deeply, so intimately, that it is impossible not to feel I found it gut wrenching Love between friends doesn t always go smoothly, and can t always manifest in traditional ways That s the story here Something happens halfway through that turns everything on its ear something I was not expecting or even needing to have enough drama [...]

  9. Stephen Parker

    It s not very often that I find in a novel two characters so deeply interesting and so fully human as Frances and Bernard are in this work Their relationship and it s gradual progression form the entire plot of this novel, and though it is only 200 pages, it succeeds in telling an engaging and complete tale.Since F B is told solely through a series of letters, Bauer trusts the reader to fill in some of the gaps in facts, the information the letter writers are witholding That trust in her readers [...]

  10. Aaron Cance

    Without hesitation the finest epistolary novel I ve read outside of the 18th Century, I read Frances and Bernard over an eighteen hour period while confined to a hotel room in Kansas City, MO on account of inclement weather , and was, ultimately, grateful for the layover by way of this book.Returning to their regular lives after time spent at a writers colony, Frances and Bernard, two ridiculously charming and intelligent characters, decide to start a correspondence based on mutual respect Their [...]

  11. Holly

    A well written epistolary novel inspired by the friendship of Flannery O Connor and Robert Lowell Truely epistolary back and forth back and forth not like Robinson s Gilead where she could have taken away the scaffolding and it hardly would have mattered I didn t know enough about O Connor and Lowell s actual relationship to understand when the novel was moving into fictional territories but I sure don t think they had a romantic relationship I lost something in the audio version I felt as if my [...]

  12. BAM The Bibliomaniac

    I m rating the AUDIO version The narrators were superb This was such an intimate story in letter format of a burgeoning friendship through hardships and unrequited love It s based upon a true accounting of two authors relationship But the narrators had such an easy, flowing speaking style that i was quite taken in It seemed like nonfiction.

  13. Julie

    Finished this book on an airplane After I closed the book, I had one of those Moments where I looked around and wanted to ask my fellow passengers Did you just feel that Powerful, beautiful stuff about obsession, love, religious faith, the fragility of sanity, writing, creativity, and pursuit of one s true desires Lovely, just lovely.

  14. Jessica

    Epistolary novels are a hard thing to pull off well, I think The author has to create unique voices for two or characters so that the letters don t all sound the same, and they have to be able to find a way to explain and describe events that happen off screen in such a way that it doesn t feel like two people who lived the events describing them to each other in a letter Because, really, who does that Who Carlene Bauer has managed to pull off what might just be the best epistolary novel I ve r [...]

  15. Alison

    I m going to be honest I wasn t sure if I would end up liking or even finishing this book As I started the book, I found myself wondering if it was going to end up as just a series of letters discussing religion and writing If that had ended up being true, this book would ve taken me a lot longer to finish Thank goodness I decided to find out if it was just a novel about two writers discussing writing because it ended up being much beautiful than I could have ever imagined The structure of the [...]

  16. Diane S ☔

    I am giving this book 3 stars because the prose is wonderful as is the historical impetus for the novel I did, however, get very tired early of the narrative style, book is all in letters, and I found it quite repetitive How interesting, can a debate be on the Holy Spirit, the soul and other religious matters unless one is a theology major The letters did give a view of the times, this takes place in the fifties, but the pacing was very slow, at least for me Not one of my favorites but one to re [...]

  17. Ashley

    C.S Lewis once wrote Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another What You too I thought that no one but myself Frances and Bernard deftly captures the dance of two sharp minds one based very loosely on Flannery O Connor and the other less loosely on the poet Robert Lowell as they are drawn toward each other The two begin corresponding after they meet at an artists colony, as O Connor and Lowell did in real life Barely a line of small talk is exchanged before Bernard launches i [...]

  18. Susan Tunis

    More than kisses, letters mingle souls John DonneI love letters both writing and receiving them It s a lost art and an intimate form of communication Perhaps it is these feelings that make me especially receptive to the epistolary novel The obvious has only occurred to me recently, but I flat out love them Where d You Go, Bernadette The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Lawgiver were all favorite reads within the last few months Epistolary novels have an unusual structure For [...]

  19. Carolyn O

    It s no secret that Carlene Bauer takes as her models for her correspondents Flannery O Connor and Robert Lowell in fact, several reviewers have complained that those real voices have not been satisfactorily mimicked, or that Ms Bauer ought to have worked with material of her own devising.I confess that I am unmoved by both these objections It may be heretical to say it, as someone who attended BU and sat in the Lowell room from time to time, but confessional is not my favored poetic brand, and [...]

  20. Jessica

    I received this book for free as part of the First Reads program.Francis and Bernard is a novel composed mostly of letters between the two title characters, with some letters to and from a few intimate friends What starts out as a mutual curiosity turns to spiritual sharing then deep friendship, love, heartbreak and finally, a mutual respect Francis is the reserved of the two, and for awhile it is hard to tell whether or not she cares about Bernard Bernard appears to suffer from some form of bi [...]

  21. Stephen Kiernan

    Sound the trumpets for an original, compelling, precise, heartbreaking first novel This book follows a love affair between two writers who share a love of language, art and religious faith But he is an unstable drunkard poet from wealthy Boston, and she is a repressed novelist from Pennsylvania Their relationship is all the beautiful because it is doomed.The novel is told entirely through letters, a risky form that sometimes slows the plot But the thinking is so interesting, and the langauge so [...]

  22. Lorri Steinbacher

    I vacillated between three and four stars for this one I loved the epistolary style I think the form suited the story Bernard was based on Robert Lowell who has a lot of his correspondence collected so it makes sense that the story would be told in this way I struggled with all the talk of God and religion It was an integral part of the story, an integral thread in their correspondence but it did not engage me Watching as Bernard falls apart, as Frances denies her ability to love, as the two cro [...]

  23. Lisa

    By far, one of my favorite reads of the past year, and probably in my top 20 all time The author has created an absolutely beautiful work that reveals the power of the written word to create and strengthen all varieties of relationships The characters are wonderfully developed without being overdone and the raw humanity that they all express is needed in literature It is refreshing to encounter characters that experience difficulties in their lives similar to what the average person goes throug [...]

  24. Brittany E

    This is a Houghton book, and I don t usually rate our books just out of fairness, but I am obsessed and I want to tell the world Love, love, love I strongly recommend this hugely compelling epistolary novel I know, weird, right for anyone a little voyeuristic with a literary bent and a high tolerance for the teachings of Cathol Took me a while to get past the religious aspect, because I hadn t realized that was a big part of Flannery O Connor s life I am ignorant But somewhere around page 25, I [...]

  25. LaJuana

    This is an excellent epistolary novel exploring faith, friendship, romance, and loss Bauer writes beautifully about relationships that surprise us, change us, and become woven into who we are While the friendship between Flannery O Connor and Robert Lowell provides the substrate for her imagination, the story is entirely Bauer s own creation, and a worthwhile one, at that.

  26. Terri Jacobson

    The prose in this book took my breath away This is writing I dream of, writing you can throw yourself into as a reader and just roll around in and luxuriate in An example Ted says there is a no better time than losing your mind to cleave to the decencies and unremarkable sentences of the Victorian novel, sentences bearing plot to the reader, like freight car after freight car carrying cargo to its destination in Leeds Or This was similar to what I d felt during various depressions words always o [...]

  27. BrocheAroe

    Beautiful Heartbreaking I fell in love with the language of it and the romance of it and the way my heart still hurts now that I ve finished it.It s brilliant but terrible in its lack of traditional happy ending Both parties end up with as harsh as this sounds what they deserve, but God it still hurts I never expected to find myself enjoying a book that spoke so much about Catholic God and faith, but they speak of it in a way that s palpable to an agnostic Jew, which I think really says a lot I [...]

  28. Mahima

    This is an epistolatory novel, and a beautiful one at that The fact that it s written in letters and that these letters employ such beautiful language is its saving grace and the reason I m giving it 3 stars It is delightful for the most part, but I keep thinking of what I would like the ending to be, and perhaps that is not fair at all It is what it is Frances and Bernard are two writers who meet at an artist s colony and engage in a conversation there and continue talking about God and art in [...]

  29. James

    So far this is the best novel I ve read this year its only late February The author Carlene Bauer, uses a real decade long correspondence between Flannery O Connor and Robert Lowell as her inspiration While Lowell and O Connor s relationship never blossomed to romance, this is an imagined conversation, and Bauer s character s are not wholly mappable upon their real counterparts.This is an epistolary novel Everything this happens in this novel is relayed by the post mostly between her chief prota [...]

  30. Della O'Shea

    I had to finally close the book at page 261, tired of the theological Irish Catholic references to sin saints Also, the literary references were to works by authors unfamiliar to me That made it hard for me to understand some of the context of their discussion and I was too frustrated by this too continue reading until, as one reviewer indicates, the characters relationship transcends the religious issues I do share the experience of having a dear fiend in my case two lovers at different times i [...]

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