Tag Archives: Regan Arts

Review: The Nakeds

The Nakeds

The Nakeds
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:

From Indiebound:

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.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: The Invaders

The Invaderrs

The Invaders
By Karolina Waclawiak
Regan Arts, Hardcover, 9781941393291, July 2015, 240pp.

The Short of It:

No calm water here. This beach-front community is on the verge of ruin and the frenetic energy of its characters comes bursting out in strange and unusual ways.

The Rest of It:

The story revolves around the inhabitants of a country-club community located along the Connecticut shoreline. Beach-front properties, club houses, sparkling pools filled with forty-something-year-old women trying to look good for anyone who will look at them, and the disgusting tourists that force themselves upon the beach with their dirty little dogs and whiny kids. Yes, it’s a story of US versus THEM and although it’s a little strange to follow, it’s just so juicy to read.

The story is told in alternating points of view between Cheryl and her adult stepson, Teddy. Cheryl is married to Teddy’s father Jeffrey. Cheryl is Jeffrey’s second wife. Although she was a trophy wife when she first moved in, ten years has aged her and her relationship with Jeffrey is hardly a relationship at all. With him gone all the time for work, Cheryl spends her days gardening, taking long walks and paying far too much attention to what is going on in the so-called community.

Teddy, is Cheryl’s adult stepson who returns home after getting booted out of college. He’s hooked on painkillers, sex and seems intent on making poor choices but there’s a sadness to Teddy that you can’t ignore and when he and Cheryl begin to fall apart at the same time but in totally different ways, it’s impossible to know what will happen.

The Invaders puts you right in the middle of the story. I could smell the sea air, hear the water splashing and feel the tension of that tight-knit community along with all of its airs and affluence and yes, sadness. There is much sadness in-between these pages. There’s also,  a rawness to the story that leaves you a little off kilter.

It’s hard to like anyone in this novel. Everyone is stripped down and flayed bare but the complexities between the characters and the struggles they have within their own lives is what makes them so interesting.

I’ve never read a book that I liked and hated as much as this one. I’d flip a page and hate it and then I’d read a paragraph and love it again. I kept going back and forth like that throughout the entire book! In the end, I think I’m safe in saying that it impressed me but that ending! Boy!

This book may have a beach setting but it’s not a lighthearted read. It’s filled with desperate people who really just want to be loved. It’s dreadful but at the same time, so good.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.