By Lisa Glatt
Regan Arts, Hardcover, 9781941393055, June 2015, 288pp.
The Short of It:
Super flawed characters, an engaging story and a nudist camp. This will probably be one of my faves for the year.
The Rest of It:
Seven-year-old Hannah Teller is on her way to school when she’s hit by a car. Martin Kettle—just out of high school, still drunk from the night before—is the driver who injures Hannah and leaves her by the side of the road. Glatt follows the intertwined lives of these two characters as they deal with the accident’s aftermath.
Martin’s guilt over the accident leads him to Hannah’s bedside at the hospital. There, he leaves her secret presents, inquires about her progress and realizes that he’s changed her life forever but decides not to come forward. Instead, he moves far away and attempts to get his life in order, never really getting past the actions of that fateful day.
Hannah’s family is supportive, but her mother and father are on the brink of divorce and the added burden of caring for a crippled child just adds to their stress. Endlessly hopeful, her parents do their best for Hannah, but ultimately their marriage ends leaving Hannah to deal with visitations, new significant others and the nudist lifestyle that her step-father encourages.
Yes folks, nudist lifestyle. You read that right. This was such an interesting addition to the story and although it did make for some awkward moments, I couldn’t help but think that in some way, it mirrored the awkwardness and disappointment Hannah had over her own body. Realizing that she may never walk again, Hannah’s perception of what others think of her plays a huge role in who she is and the idea of being naked, in front of all those people is too much for her.
The story spans many years and alternates between different characters but it all comes together beautifully. It was meaningful, sometimes funny, other times very deep. All of these characters have their quirks and for some, deep running faults, but you can relate to all of them which is not something that happens too often.
I haven’t seen many reviews of The Nakeds which surprises me because it’s really quite good. I hope you pick it up.
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