When my mother-daughter book club with Catherine read Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce, we had a long discussion about the many layers of meaning to be found in this seemingly simple story. Here’s what two of the moms had to say:
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll kiss your bad mood goodbye. If you enjoyed Millions, you’ll also get a kick out of Framed! This story of a young boy trying to hold his family and his town together has lots of humor and affection and a little mystery too. The characters are both quirky and endearing, from the child-like, Ninja turtle fan to the elderly sisters who have “cooperative” driving skills! It’ll warm the cockles of your heart. Whatever those are. — Lisa W., Portland, Oregon
This is a little gem of a book. It’s the story of a sleepy little town in Wales called Manod where nothing seems to happen, until one day something wonderful changes everything. The story is told by young Dylan Hughes, the only boy left in town, whose family runs the Manod gas station. Through his innocent, friendly voice we get to know his family and lots of the town’s people. Just when Manod seems about to fall off the map and the family is in deep financial trouble, the National Gallery in London decides to store all its paintings in an abandoned mine in the little town to protect them from local flooding. As, one by one, the people of Manod get exposed to the beautiful artwork, gradual changes take place that will warm your heart and save the town. This story has adventure, mystery and humor, but mostly it is about people and a town discovering not only who they are, but who they can be. My daughter and I both loved it! — Ellen S., Portland, Oregon
And here’s my review:
What happens to a grey, Welsh town with a depressed economy and dwindling population when world-famous art arrives there for storage in an old mine? Find out in this wonderful tale of what it means to be part of a family and a community. Told through the voice of Dylan Hughes, the only boy left in the town of Manod, Framed will introduce you to a town full of eccentric characters who are inspired by the masterpieces they see to create great changes in themselves and in Manod. It’s a heart-warming, funny tale that’s great to read aloud.