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One Two Three

Laurie Frankel

September 21, 2021

Today I talked to Laurie Frankel about her new novel One, Two, Three (Henry Holt, 2021).

The little town of Bourne made national news seventeen years before when its water turned green and people started to get sick. The Mitchell triplets were born that year, after the factory closed, the town began to wither along with its citizens, and their father died. The three girls, each a different version of normal, have watched their mother’s endless fight for justice from the company that destroyed their town. Mirabel, number Three, is the smartest triplet, even though she can’t speak and uses a wheelchair. Monday, number Two, inherited all the library’s books when the library building closed. She eats and wears only yellow and knows exactly where in the house each book is hidden. And Mab, number One, is trying to get into college and out of Bourne. Then one day, a moving truck pulls up and the Mitchell sisters are forced to grapple with a past that was never resolved.

Laurie Frankel writes novels (and reads novels, teaches other people to write novels, raises a small person who reads and would like someday to write novels) in Seattle, Washington where she lives on a nearly vertical hill from which she can watch three different bridges while she's staring out her windows between words. She's originally from Maryland and has a degree in reading Shakespeare, which has relatively little to do with writing novels. She has taught writing, literature, and gender studies at both community colleges and universities. Now she is at work — always — on her next novel but also blogs about craft at Medium where she endeavors to help other people finish their novels.

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