Picks and Pans Review: Naked Sleeper
Nunez follows her critically acclaimed debut novel, A Feather on the Breath of God, with a haunting portrait of a marriage viewed from the point of view of the wife, a woman whose fractured childhood has left her woefully incomplete. A teacher, Nona Shelton suffers from insomnia and won't have children because she fears recreating the pain caused by her often absent father, a painter. Her husband is understanding, even after she goes off to an arts colony to work on a book about her father and sends home letters that document her attraction to Lyle Cook, a married professor.
Nona consummates her relationship with Lyle, a gamble that forces her to reevaluate her life. Nunez writes elegantly, and her exploration of what Nona learns about herself and the nature of love makes for an enlightening literary adventure. (HarperCollins, $23)