This humorous novel follows a young, English, Catholic priest to his first parish in America. Father Francis discovers that occasional attendance at church youth clubs, years of study at a seminary, and a love of The Dukes of Hazzard television show, have done little to prepare him for his new life. Women appear to view his vow of chastity merely as a challenge, and Gene Charmois, local bigwig and bullyboy, simply wants to add Frank to his portfolio. Despite the advice of Father William, the wisecracking Vicar General (and sometimes because of it), Frank unwittingly makes an enemy of Gene Charmois. The young priest becomes the subject of disturbing, if unfounded rumors, and soon finds himself without income, a congregation, or the support of his diocese. With the help of his parish administrator, an atheistic doctor, and a local judge-cum-secondhand car dealer, Frank uncovers distinctly dodgy, dangerous and illegal goings-on down on the farm—Gene Charmois’ farm. What starts out as a mission of mercy to rescue a group of exploited migrant workers, turns into a major government investigation.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10
Plot: This charming novel is full of humorously preposterous events and mishaps that will delight readers. And while the pacing is slow at times, readers will enjoy the adventures of the often confused Father Francis.
Prose: The dialogue is excellent, light and fast paced. The internal monologues are both funny and poignant.
Originality: While the novel will remind some readers of television's The Vicar of Dibley and culture clash stories are common, this one manages to feel fresh thanks to its winning protagonist.
Character Development: The characters are well developed and fun, with unexpected twists. Father Francis develops from a consummate blunderer into a more confident man over the course of the novel. Martha and Ginny also grow and evolve, while even minor characters have strong personalities.
Date Submitted: July 11, 2017
Online Book Club
Rated 4 out of 4 in Onlinebookclub.org official review.
"This is a story with heart and substance, conveyed in a vastly comical, engaging, and relatable style. Therefore, I give Can I Be Frank? a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I’d recommend it to fans of humorous contemporary fiction that takes a look at serious matters, both inwardly and outwardly."