Naked

Naked

by Betsy Franco
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/16/2013
Franco, the author of more 80 children's books, re-tells the tragic history of famed sculptor August Rodin's artistic muse, Camille Claudel (1864-1943), in a bittersweet modern fable more reminiscent of the recent Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris, than of the earlier French drama, Camille Claudel. After California teenager Jesse Lucas touches a sculpture in the Stanford University Rodin Garden one evening in 2008 on his way to his performance art summer school class, the spirit of Claudel emerges from the statue in the form of a naked 18-year-old girl who calls herself Cat. In alternating chapters, Jesse and Cat narrate their intertwining stories, while grappling with both internal and external demons. For Jesse, it's his abusive and alcoholic father; for Cat, it's the memories of an all-consuming love affair with Rodin that ended in heartbreak and psychosis when he refused to leave another woman for her. While Jesse and time-traveling Cat's relationship is doomed, the two help each other reconcile with the past and let go of the anger that threatens to consume each of them. Described as Franco's debut adult novel, this magical tale of angst-ridden teenagers confronting adulthood in a plot that's a seamless blend of fiction, biography, and contemporary culture is bound to cross over into the young adult and new adult realms. Agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Literary Agency. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"Magical tale of angst-ridden teenagers confronting adulthood in a plot that's a seamless blend of fiction, biography, and contemporary culture." —Publishers Weekly

"Naked takes us to a familiar place—first, true, unquestionable love—but frames it in an ethereal experience of a fantastical reincarnation meets a coming-of-age story. It shows that love is timeless and ageless; love can heal all wounds, old and new." —James Franco, Oscar nominated actor

"Betsy Franco's latest novel, Naked, explores the elements of love and life that ignite our creativity and passion. Naked is a love story between two artists, who meet under unconventional circumstances, to say the least. Betsy literally resurrects an artist from the dead and writes Camille a new ending, the one that she deserves." - The Daily Quirk

"Betsy Franco brings [Camille Claudel] into the light...in this captivating novel" - San Jose Mercury News

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440566349
Publisher:
Adams Media
Publication date:
11/18/2013
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Betsy Franco is the author of more than eighty books. She is the recipient of a number of awards, including the New York Public Library Notable Book award, the ALA Best Book award for Young Adults, and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Book of the Year award. Betsy is also a screenwriter and playwright, and has acted in indie films and on TV, most notably as her son James Franco's mother on General Hospital. She lives in Palo Alto, California.

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