Just when you thought America was falling off a cliff, along comes Fran to tell it like it was and is. We meet her in the ICU, where she has tracked down her affluent, elusive landlord who is recovering from a well-earned heart attack. Fran’s goals are modest—get the sink fixed, acquire health insurance, steer clear of a lecherous boss, raise good and productive kids. But for Fran and for millions of Americans struggling with the twenty-first century, those simple goals prove ever more difficult to attain. Her chief asset is the ability to speak her mind plainly, and she does so to lawyers, health care representatives, school officials and more in the entertaining town of Centerfield, Texas. There are many deeply serious books written each year. This is not one of them.