Monday, 3 February 2014

Review: Naked by Betsy Franco

When Jesse Lucas, a troubled, magnetic acting major, touches the sculpture Meditation in Stanford’s Rodin Sculpture Garden, he burns his finger on the bronze. By the time he returns to the garden that night, an eighteen-year old girl has emerged from the statue, naked and disoriented. It is 2008, yet her mind is swimming with vivid, fractured memories of her volatile past in nineteenth century Paris—of serving as Rodin’s muse, of her passionate affair with the acclaimed artist, and of her own creations.

So begins Betsy Franco’s extraordinary and imaginative novel, Naked. Stranded in the sculpture garden, Camille—or Cat, as she insists on being called—forms a deep bond with Jesse, who is soon leaving for college and is as lonely and disturbed as she. As Jesse encourages Cat to confront the sinister memories that afflict her, she helps him overcome the fury he has towards his abusive father and find peace within himself.

Rich, inventive, and told with a compelling mix of grace and wry humor, Naked is a bold debut that explores love, loss, and the power of art, and brings to mind the magical realism found in The Time Traveler’s Wife and Midnight in Paris

Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 18th 2013 by "Tyrus Books"
Terri's Thoughts:
I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
I have to completely truthful and admit that I did not enjoy this read.  It did not seem to have any sense of realism or interesting storyline to capture my attention.  I knew going in to the read based on the synopsis that there would be some sort of intertwining of past and present lives and had actually looked forward to it.  Normally I enjoy these types of reads and actively seek them out however this fell short of the mark.
If I have to look really deep this is a story about forgiveness and moving on.  I get that however I had to endure a pretty dull read to reach this point.  Both of the main characters did not have any qualities that had me pulled in and I found them both a little odd.  I get the feeling that this was intentional however it just didn't work for me.
There was also a lot of reference to Rodin throughout this book.  Too much so.  Art lovers may appreciate this however I found that I had to force myself not to skip pages.
I hate to give unfavorable reviews however I have to add this to one of those stories that just wasn't for me.  If I had to sum it up in one word it would be "weird".

About the Author

Betsy Franco has published more than eighty books, including three previous anthologies. She lives in Palo Alto, California.


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