A hit-and-run accident sends the lives of both driver and victim into unforeseen trajectories in a family drama set against the backdrop of the sexual revolution and 1970s California.
On the morning that Nina and Asher Teller's marriage falls apart in their Southern Californian kitchen, their young daughter, Hannah, is the victim of a hit-and-run accident that will leave her leg in a cast for much of the next decade. Nina's next husband introduces her to nudism and soon suggests they plunge further into the sexual revolution of the 1970s. Meanwhile, the remorseful driver, Martin, tries to bury his dark secret under the flashing lights and ringing bells of Las Vegas.
The Nakeds is an absorbing, darkly comical story of love and desire, of forgiveness and the unforgivable, and the truths we sometimes hide underneath our very own skin.
On a spring day in 1970, while Nina and Asher fight in their kitchen, hurling accusations and glassware at each other, their young daughter, Hannah, makes her way to first grade walking on neighbor's lawns and dodging garbage cans, absorbed in her own thoughts when a drunk driver slams into her. For nearly the next 10 years, Hannah endures life with a cast on her leg, feeling insecure and burdened by her broken limb. The dissolution of her parents' marriage, and the accident that leaves her encumbered with multiple casts that never seem to fix her leg, thrusts Hannah into young adulthood. With grace and maturity, Hannah learns to accept her once-Jewish father's new faith and wife (the woman who ultimately broke up her family), and her mother's newfound sexual freedom, nudist lifestyle, and young husband. Martin Kettle, the driver who left Hannah at the scene, continues through life troubled and guilt-ridden about his past. He believes his secret visits to the hospital to visit Hannah and drop off gifts while she sleeps are a form of atonement. Martin makes gradual progress in overcoming his demons and addictions, but will he ever admit full responsibility for what he's done and move on? Glatt's (A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That) well-developed characters and their intersecting stories leave the reader wondering what will happen next.