Frank & Red by Matt Coyne

Delightful, Feel-Good Read

Frank And Red by Matt Coyne is a marvellous debut novel that I read in just one sitting. It was positively charming.

The main characters were sixty seven year old Frank and six year old Red. They are an unlikely pairing – a curmudgeonly old man and a very bouncy and young boy. They bring out the best in each other even though Frank is reluctant to engage with his new neighbour, Red, at first.

Both characters are sad. Frank lost his wife prematurely and suddenly. He is drowning in grief. His whole world has collapsed. “The days that followed Marcie’s death were painfully ordinary… People continued to catch buses … do all the things that alive people do.” The world keeps turning. The sun keeps shining. But for Frank, his world has ended. He views life through the bottom of a glass until a rather unusual encounter.

True love does not die. True love remains. Even death cannot break the ties. We see that in loss, the veil between life and death is thin.

Red has been uprooted from his life, following his parents split. He has a new house in a new neighbourhood, and a new school to go to. He struggles as the new boy as the bullies pick on him. The scenes of loneliness in the playground were extremely well written and evoked memories of my own lonely break times when I first started school.

Matt Coyne has perfectly captured the mannerisms and speech of a six year old. Red is a charming little boy who brought out the mothering instincts in me.

Frank and Red bounce off each other with their dialogue. There are some hilarious scenes with Red as he mishears and mispronounces words. It is most delightful to witness Frank and Red’s blossoming, unlikely friendship.

Red has a huge heart and a huge personality. I loved him.

Frank And Red is positively charming. A real feel-good read. I think it would make a wonderful movie. I can picture Michael Cain in the role of Frank.

I received a free copy via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


One thought on “Frank & Red by Matt Coyne

  1. Loved this review and will read this one — I love the idea of a child and an older person helping each other out. Thanks for putting this book on my radar!

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