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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 08/2020
  • 9781952757013 B08C2DPWD8
  • 314 pages
  • $4.99
Celebrating Naked

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Publish)

Celebrating Naked is an extraordinary Novel about love in many forms... When Sissy came to visit Liz and Cliff Gordon, they weren't expecting her to stay. But she was pregnant and newly widowed, and more importantly, the Gordons loved her. Together, they formed a family—non-traditional, but exceptional. When cancer takes Sissy, she leaves a legacy so vibrant the family’s grief threatens to break them. Liz makes a promise: she'll celebrate Sissy, not mourn her. She won't let her sorrow show. But her husband is clinging to a secret that brings him both joy and pain, their daughter is grappling with coming-of-age without her friend and second mother, and Sissy's son discovers a love that could cause him to lose everything. They've all celebrated Sissy's life... but can they go on without accepting her death? A novel of beautifully realized characters, sun-drenched dusty Santa Fe scenery, heart wrenching grief and glorious reconciliation, Celebrating Naked tells the story of a family’s heartbreak—and reminds us that grief is a byproduct of love.

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: This is a mature, wonderful, provocative and starkly memorable narrative that unfolds seamlessly.

Prose/Style: The prose is well-crafted and embellished in a high-literary style and flows smoothly throughout the book.

Originality: This wise novel is one of love, loss, seduction, and growth. While the complex circumstances of a third individual entering a marriage is a literary convention that has been explored before, the author is up to the task and does so in a manner that reflects an understanding of the many types of human love and the manifestations of grief.

Character Development: The characters are complex, truly human, and relatable. Readers may crave additional backstory for Sissy and other individuals, but the author shows great finesse in crafting a layered and charismatic cast.

 

Date Submitted: June 15, 2020

Reviews
Kirkus review

A nontraditional family copes with a great loss in this debut novel.

Sissy Cornwall is a force of nature. Her vibrance, spontaneity, and friendliness positively affect everyone in her orbit; her life motto is “No tears.” That’s why married couple Liz and Cliff Gordon gave the widowed, pregnant young woman a place to stay 18 years ago. Now she and her teenage son, Artie, live with them in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Liz and Cliff have two children of their own, Clara and Michael, and Sissy has becomes a permanent fixture in all of their lives. But when Sissy dies after a long illness, the family no longer knows how to interact with one another. Sissy was a role model to Clara, and the teen strictly adheres to Sissy’s “No tears” policy; Artie is afraid of losing the rest of the family, now that his mother is gone; and Cliff and Liz gave so much of their love to Sissy that they seem to have forgotten how to express it to each other.

Averill’s novel shines as it examines the nature of different forms of love within the framework of a grieving family. The story brims with vivid descriptions, particularly when Averill sets a scene, though sometimes the excessive detail feels overwrought. Clara’s arc is a standout, and her romantic feelings for Artie will be relatable to anyone who’s experienced the intensity of young love. Even more intriguing are Liz’s and Cliff’s perspectives as they realize that they’ve failed to grow as a couple." - Kirkus Review

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 08/2020
  • 9781952757013 B08C2DPWD8
  • 314 pages
  • $4.99

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