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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Planet Fran: Population One & Just a Little Unstable is a humorous fiction novel by Josie King. It tells the story of Fran McBride, a sometimes physically awkward but highly intelligent and naturally funny Prosecco-guzzling woman, who is a “wannabe” but so far unsuccessful entrepreneur in the technology world. Sure that she now has the idea that will make her an independently wealthy businesswoman one day, Fran accepts an offer from an investor to fund its development. His investment, however, comes with a condition: Fran must learn to care for a horse and ride it well enough to win an eventing competition. Fran has never ridden a horse in her life and isn’t athletic, but, if this is what it takes to achieve her dream, she’s ready to “crack on.” And so, the comedy begins.
In Planet Fran, Josie King introduces us to a wonderful comedic protagonist in Fran McBride. King’s narrative is direct, descriptive, and full of humor, based in part on her own experiences as a late-blooming rider. Told through Fran’s eyes, the story is an unfolding study in human character and relationships, foibles and all. There are ample opportunities for comedic situations as Fran alternates the story line among her personal, family, work, and "horsey" settings. In the process, she learns more about herself than several decades of living had yet taught her. “I thought, going into this challenge, that I knew everything there was to know about myself,” Fran says, “but I was completely wrong.” An entertaining and humorous story with a meaningful and touching message at its core.