Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer is a wonderfully written novel told through the correspondence between the title characters. The format that Bauer uses, revealing the lives of Frances and Bernard through letters, gives them a depth that allows these characters to really come off the page. The novel gives a feeling of having a glimpse into the lives of two very real people instead of fictional characters.
The reader gets to experience the blossoming romance between Frances and Bernard, as they struggle with the tribulations of life with questions of faith and literature painting their personal views. Considering both of them are writers, Frances a novelist and Bernard a poet, who met at a writer’s colony the literary references set off a chain reaction for any reader: adding classic authors to the to-read list, such as Kierkegaard and John Donne. Frances and Bernard is a hard book to put down. Bauer certainly delivers, presenting a novel that is simultaneously believable and beautiful.