And then the dream breaks into a million tiny pieces. The dream dies. Which leaves you with a choice: you can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream. ~ Nora Ephron
A house and marriage “violently” disintegrate. Left alone to raise an infant in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while her husband lives it up in Miami Beach, Julie is surrounded by the rubble of her life – “stripped bare by love and loss.”
What happens when you lose everything?
This story is about choices, strength, divorce, Hurricane Katrina, alcoholism, a mother’s dream, life changing bridges, flawed diamonds, rebuilding, and a baby girl named Genoa.
Julie shares a remarkable story with humor and tenderness. The strength and resilience of the Gulf Coast shines through as does the love and purity Julie finds in this memoir. Experience the vulnerability, hurt, love, loss, anger, intimate reflections, authenticity, and ultimately the freedom as Julie’s shocking story unfolds.
(Image and synopsis via Goodreads)
Julie Freed tells the story of the ravages of Mother Nature and human nature in her memoir, Naked: Stripped by a Man and Hurricane Katrina. Despite the raw and painful memories, Julie writes beautifully and eloquently.
From page one, I am hooked and Julie continuously draws me deeper and deeper into her story. Using flashbacks and emotional imagery, Julie shares the depth to which she loves her husband and how her life with him and their daughter has grown based on dreams held since their courtship. Hurricane Katrina becomes the perfect metaphor for the demise of their marriage.
Her family had only recently moved to New Orléans when reports of the potential for a hurricane begin over the news. Friends help Julie prepare not only for her survival but that of her still toddling daughter. In the midst of preparing to flee ahead of the hurricane, Julie receives an email from her husband requesting a divorce.
However, Julie’s strength and reserves muster themselves to the front and the preparations move forward. Julie’s focus is her daughter and all precautions are taken to ensure Genoa’s safety and good health.
Despite all that accosts her in a short period, Julie Freed amasses endurance, grit, and spunk to defeat everything attempting to tear her down. Her family is loving and supportive throughout but to clean up the rubble and assess the state of her affairs, Julie must leave her daughter behind at her parents’ home. A difficult decision in an already difficult time.
For anyone experiencing loss of any kind, Julie Freed’s memoir is an encouraging read. Julie’s own return to peace at the end of the storm and massive cleanup is a guidepost for others.
I rarely rate books on this blog. And when I’m forced to give a star rating on Amazon, Goodreads, or other book sites, I rarely give a 5-star review. The book must be exceptional to garner five stars.
Today I’m pleased to give Julie Freed’s book, Naked: Stripped by a Man and Hurricane Katrina, an exceptional work, a 5-star rating.
More about Julie Freed:
Award winning author, mathematician, mother, professor, and lover of the sea and the changing tides of life. Naked was selected as Best Memoir of 2014 Bronze Medal by Readers’ Favorites, honored with a review from theSouthern Literary Review, selected as a Staff Pick at Anne Patchett’s Parnassus Books, just nominated for the coveted Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters 2015 nonfiction award, and earned over 80 five star reviews on Amazon.
Dr. Julie Freed was raised in New England. She kept moving south with each degree, married and ended up on the serene Gulf Coast of Mississippi. With degrees in the sciences and a doctorate in mathematics, research and learners of all ages are her passion.
Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 she rebuilt life and home on a stronger foundation. Julie lives with her husband who is terribly comfortable in his skin, two strong willed daughters, a slippery frog, a feisty dog, three kayaks, a boat, and endless dreams of doing more and helping people.
(Image, bio and links via Julie’s website)
Purchasing the Book:
I received a copy of Naked from the author in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are solely mine.
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