NEW Writer's Digest Book Review
NAKED: STRIPPED BY A MAN AND HURRICANE KATRINA takes the reader by storm, both in its stunning, original and eye-catching cover and design and the gripping, carefully crafted story. The opening pages, in which author Julie Freed sets the stage for her complex, multilayered memoir, immediately draw in the reader. She skillfully builds suspense by interweaving the coming Hurricane Katrina with flashbacks of her budding relationship and eventual deterioration of same with soon to be ex-husband Conner.
Through compelling anecdotes and characterizations as well as keen dialogue, she allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. And even though Conner’s actions are patently reprehensible, she makes him appear human and vulnerable, rather than yielding to the obvious temptation of depicting him as black-hatted villain. Yet she is unafraid to face her emotions and shares them eloquently and fully with the reader: “Nothing about my marriage could be private anymore…Unveiling and exposing the truth was my only way to peace.”
And by describing the tastes, sounds and smells of Katrina she brings its horrors, revelations and occasional surprising moments of joy into bright relief, pulling the threads of the story as neatly together as a skilled tailor and drawing parallels both moving and insightful.
Sometimes less is more, even with such earth and soul shattering events as hurricanes and divorces.