Delia Ephron is probably best known as the screenwriter of movies such as You've Got Mail, and Michael, but she's also written children's books, adult ones, and books of humor. Now, with Frannie in Pieces, she successfully wrote a teen novel.
Frannie's parents may have divorced when she was six, but she still had both of her parents. When her father died a week before her fifteenth birthday, she lost the person she loved most, and the one who understood her. Worst of all, she was in the house for two hours before she found his body.
Frannie reacts with anger, and fear. She worries about everything, and even reads small print, looking for poison in ingredients. She isolates, spending her time in her bedroom, lying on the floor. She refuses to see her best friend, Jenna, who seems to have deserted her by finding a boyfriend. Frannie feels alone in the world, until she puts together a puzzle, one that she thinks is a gift from her father. The handmade puzzle, with a wooden box with her name on it, makes her feel close to her father. It's "something sacred, a secret just between us."
As Frannie works on the puzzle, she's sucked into the world, an unfamiliar one to her, but a place that she seems to find her father. What kind of answers can Frannie find in a puzzle world?
Frannie in Pieces is a thoughtful examination of a fifteen-year-old girl's life and feelings, following the loss of the most important person in her world. There are so many parts of Frannie's life that she realizes she looks at from the wrong angle. Even the phrase her father told her, "Save the blues for last," means more than just the process of putting a puzzle together. Ephron has given the reader a book to explore meanings, and explore life, along with Frannie. It's a beautiful, warm book of love, and the exploration of the meaning of love, life, and going on with life after death.
Delia Ephron's website is www.deliaephron.com
Frannie in Pieces by Delia Ephron. HarperCollins Publishers, ©2007, ISBN 9780060747169 (hardcover), 374p.