Frankie is not the only character who is well-drawn. The whole cast feels completely real and full of life, from the big fat aunts to the dad called Uncle George by everyone (even though he's not an uncle) to the family cat (The Fat Controller) to the teacher at Frankie's school. Everyone has their own crazy quirks and I could connect with them all.
Part of the reason the story is so successful, despite having a rather contemplative plot, is the focus on the relationships between family and friends. De Goldi has captured how a family can be full of love and still be dysfunctional. While the story does have a bit of an overarching plot, it's not really what you think it is at the beginning and the resolution isn't momentous. This is a story of Frankie's personal journey to learn to understand himself and his family.
Everyone should read this. It is absolutely delightful! Fans of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time should definitely check this out.