“Naked: Stripped by a Man and Hurricane Katrina” by Julie Freed— One Week, No Husband and No House

Freed, Julie. “Naked: Stripped by a Man and Hurricane Katrina”, CreateSpace, 2014.

One Week, No Husband and No House

Amos Lassen

Abandoned by her husband, Julie is left alone on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to raise her infant daughter in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath. For all of her life, she has been surrounded by the mess of her life and now she’s dealing with loss. Julia Freed’s memoir, “Naked” is a look at the  intimate details of parallel tragedies. Her marriage and sudden divorce are framed by the storm and we see the resilience of a Southern community, a father’s support, and the love and adoration of a mother for her child. This is the powerful and emotional story of a woman who begins to rebuild her life.

Both the title and cover image capture being naked. The raw candor captures the nakedness that Freed felt for my community as her surroundings were destroyed. Her naked refers to the freedom from material possessions and a dying marriage.  

Freed’s parents were strict and always challenged her to do more but they let her fall. They provided all she needed and allowed her to explore and learn on my own giving her the chance to develop a strong sense of confidence. 

 Most people just watched Katrina unfold on the news (except for me who was in New Orleans during the storm). Freed’s story will takes us into Katrina and gives readers hope that when faced with extreme unthinkable situations there is a well of strength deep within that can push us forward. Even though she was left naked on the slab of what was her house, she  was never alone. Going through Covid 19 gives us that same kind of feeling even though we are never alone. 

This is a powerful true story of loss but also of triumph. Struggling to find meaning in her journey, Freed shares her story with humor and tenderness.

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