Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors @4thEstateBooks #NetGalley #NewRelease #BookReview #BookDebut


For readers of Modern Lovers and Conversations with Friends, an addictive, humorous, and poignant debut novel about the shock waves caused by one couple’s impulsive marriage.

‘A tender, devastating and funny exploration of love and friendship and the yearning for self-evisceration. Coco Mellors is an elegant and exciting new voice’ PANDORA SYKES, author of How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right

New York is slipping from Cleo’s grasp. Sure, she’s at a different party every other night, but she barely knows anyone. Her student visa is running out, and she doesn’t even have money for cigarettes. But then she meets Frank. Twenty years older, Frank’s life is full of all the success and excess that Cleo’s lacks. He offers her the chance to be happy, the freedom to paint, and the opportunity to apply for a green card. She offers him a life imbued with beauty and art—and, hopefully, a reason to cut back on his drinking. He is everything she needs right now. 
Cleo and Frank run head-first into a romance that neither of them can quite keep up with. It reshapes their lives and the lives of those around them, whether that’s Cleo’s best friend struggling to embrace his gender identity in the wake of her marriage, or Frank’s financially dependent sister arranging sugar daddy dates after being cut off. Ultimately, this chance meeting between two strangers outside of a New Year’s Eve party changes everything, for better or worse.
Cleopatra and Frankenstein is an astounding and painfully relatable debut novel about the spontaneous decisions that shape our entire lives and those imperfect relationships born of unexpectedly perfect evenings.


Cleopatra and Frankenstein


This debut novel had me hypnotised from early on. Firstly I was intrigued by the title. Was Cleopatra the beauty I envisaged and Frankenstein the monster, who was impossible to love. Cleo wasn’t just young in years she was immature, impulsive, reckless, and in need of a green card. Frank, twenty years older, is successful in his career, but a full-blown alcoholic that should have given up wild parties long ago.

The pair were drawn to each other, both needing something at that moment in time. Frank was too set in his ways, and Cleo was too immature to deal with his needs, let alone her own. They were thrown together in a whirlwind of parties and wild living, but they were worlds apart, with friends that had nothing in common.

This story just seemed to play out in my mind as I read it, each character alive and taking on their role trying to find a different missing link that neither of them fit. I wanted this to work, but the toxic relationship that it was, was destroying them. When you live your life making choices just to hurt your partner, then you simply aren’t living. I couldn’t leave it alone. It is a fabulous debut.

I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this book that I have reviewed honestly.


Coco Mellors

Coco Mellors was raised in London and New York City. She completed her MFA in Fiction at New York University, where she was a Goldwater Fellow. She currently lives in Venice, Los Angeles.

Cleopatra and Frankenstein by [Coco Mellors]

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