Study Guide

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks Chapters 3-4

By E. Lockhart

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Chapters 3-4

A Chance Encounter That Would Prove Seminal

  • After Zada leaves for college, Frankie goes with her mom, uncles, and cousins on vacation to the Jersey Shore (yes, the Jersey Shore). 
  • Frankie wants to go into town by herself, but her mother Ruth doesn't want to let her because she's now such an, ahem, shapely young woman. 
  • Peeved, Frankie heads to the boardwalk because it's closer. She gets frozen custard, but it's actually pretty cold so she doesn't enjoy it (especially not in that itty bitty string bikini). 
  • Suddenly a cute boy comes up to her and asks her if he can eat the rest of her custard. What unhygienic flirting.
  • He asks her where she goes to school and she says Alabaster in Massachusetts. He goes to a school in New York (ooh, a city boy). 
  • Then Frankie's mom calls her and she has to scramble off to assure her that she hasn't been kidnapped or killed.

Old Boy

  • The narrator tells us that Frankie was named after her old dad, Frank Senior, after he realized he probably wasn't going to have a son after all. 
  • Senior Banks is a doctor and is quite involved in the Alabaster alumni network; he's an "Old Boy," which just kind of sounds rich and pretentious. 
  • He and Ruth (Frankie and Zada's mom) are divorced, and when he sees them, he always waxes poetic about his old days at Alabaster and Harvard, and how that's how you get connections in life. 
  • Sounds like a real winner.

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