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.
"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