She loves her family, and would do nearly anything for them. But she doesn't come out of her paint box often or long enough to completely understand them. That frustrated me, because I wanted her to SEE everything more like Julia, Understand more like Gwen and try to please people who mattered like Sarah. But she doesn't entirely understand herself, and puts paint above people and relationships thinking she didn't need them. So how could I expect her to do those things? I don't know, but I did.
That's part of the beauty of this book though, we see the four sisters grow up, we see them make decisions that change their lives and we see the grow mentally. When The Great War comes, Julia takes action, Gwen silently watches with open eyes and a steady hand, Sarah keeps working at school and Frances ignores it all as best as she can while everyone else's lives spin out of control.
That's the first half of the book in a nutshell, and to me it was good, but a bit unsatisfactory. The second half sees the war finally hits Frances right in the face, and at last she opened her eyes to see beyond her easel.
Then I really enjoyed the book. Frances came alive, she worked for something that meant more to her than making beautiful pictures. I love how she gained the trust of her friends who couldn't quite believe that this new Frances was real. Better, she came to understand what really made her tick, and it wasn't paint though that did mean a great deal to her.
Despite a happy ending I thought it was kind of depressing, I'm not sure why. Perhaps because it was almost too happy, too late?
PG Light swearing, one character is a bit bohemian.
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