Frances arrives at Tranquillum House and tries to drive through the entrance gate using the code she was given. No luck. So she tries to call inside. No answer. She’s stuck sitting outside in her car in the heat.
While she’s waiting, Frances does get a call from her literary agent, Alain. It turns out that her new editor doesn’t want to publish her latest book. Her 19th book. Apparently, romance is out and Frances’s sales aren’t what they used to be.
Alain also mentions that someone online wrote a particularly vicious article about Frances and her work. It used words like “formulaic,” “trash,” and “drivel” to describe her writing. Ooh. That’s gonna leave a mark.
So, to recap: Frances can’t get into her retreat and she’s having an existential career crisis in her car. It’s a pretty bad moment for her.
Just then, a yellow sports car with a couple inside pulls up. Maybe she can turn this around a little?