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 toward 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.
by Betsy Franco
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