Two writers, one friendship, and an unforgettable correspondence. A glittering, smart and sassy debut of love, literature and letter writing.
It is not love at first sight for Frances and Bernard.
She finds him faintly ridiculous while he sees her as aloof. But after that first meeting, Bernard writes Frances a letter which changes everything and soon they are immersed in the kind of fast, deep friendship that can alter the course of lives. They find their way to New York and discover cramped West Village kitchens, rowdy cocktail parties stocked with the sharp-witted and glamorous, taxis that can take you anywhere at all and long talks along the Hudson River as the lights of the Empire State Building blink on above.
Irresistibly witty and deeply moving, Frances and Bernard is a story of kindred spirits and the people who help us discover who we are.
“Bauer captures the style and language of the period with gleeful dexterity… Exquisite”
“The characters’ charm and intelligence make them irresistible company”
“A story of conversion, shattered love and the loss of faith, recalling 20th-century masters like Graham Greene and Walker Percy… Bauer is a distinctive stylist who can write about Simone Weil or Kierkegaard with wit and charm.”
New York Times Book Review
“Warm, intelligent and addictive”
Katie Allen, The Simple Things
“A romantic but heartbreaking novel”
“Set against the evocative backdrop of 1950s New York, their musings – which start out quick and witty – grow in confidence and intelligence, and before they know it they are inking their hearts out onto the page. This sparky novel will make you want to permanently delete WhatsApp and go back to basics.”
Stylist, Top 10 must-reads of April
“Its central characters’ charm and intelligence make them irresistible company”
Hephzibah Anderson, Daily Mail
“Dazzling and gorgeously written... It’s a marvel.”
Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausenâ??s Pier and Songs Without Words
“Not a traditional love story and it comes barbed with sadness, although flashed through with poetry and wit. It is a novel that tricks you with its seeming simplicity but it sticks with you for a long while after you have put it down”
Scott Pack, Me and My Big Mouth
“I had ten pages left as the bus pulled into my home station, and I wanted to murder the driver for rousting me from my seat. Instead of heading home, I stood in the parking lot and finished the book right then and there. I did not merely love Frances and Bernard; I worried myself sick over them. And the prose! So delectable you could eat it for dessert.”
Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys and Any Bitter Thing
“A truly original, very moving novel about how sometimes the deepest relationships in our lives are also the most impossible. The letters between Frances and Bernard -- which begin as witty, sometimes wary, and full of unusual confidences about love and spiritual matters-- explode with passion on the page. My eyes filled with tears. What a rich writer and two unforgettable lovers!”
Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude and Camille: a novel of Monet and The Physician of London
“Bauer captures the style and language of the period with gleeful dexterity. The prose here is exquisite, winding between narrative momentum and lofty introspection. And she employs the epistolary form nimbly, providing an intimate, uncluttered space for her characters to develop”
Teresa Link, Washington Post
“With some fine writing, this slim volume packs a punch”
“Sentences sparkle on the page… Both intellectual and down to earth, serious and funny”
Laura Keynes, The Tablet