When Franny Stands Up

Sourcebooks Landmark. Nov. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781728256009. pap. $16.99. F
DEBUT Chicago-based author Robins offers an insight into life in Chicago after World War II and in the early 1950s. Franny Steinberg, a young Jewish girl uncertain of her place in the world, is out to discover who she is and what she wants to do with her life. The title of this novel is appropriate, not only metaphorically as Franny learns to stand up for herself, but also literally, as she tries her hand at being a stand-up comedian. This new life, which she conceals from her family and friends, pushes her out of her comfort zone to find out what she genuinely believes. In the process, Franny learns what she can stand up for. Further, she learns that communication can be the key to resolving conflict and that holding back can be incredibly damaging to relationships. Themes such as homosexuality, racism, war, trauma-induced guilt or fear, and questioning sex roles are all explored through Franny’s experiences.
VERDICT With complex, relatable characters, this novel is so much more than one particular genre, but it would be a useful addition to any library’s LGBTQ collection. Fans of TV’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel may enjoy.
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