Daniel Tomelin -- a battle-worn veteran haunted by the carnage of the First World War -- deserts his family in the Great Depression and goes on the road seeking work and relief from the nightmares of his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Set in a tragic era when hope was sometimes all they had, this story parallels today's economic turmoil and unemployment. It's "The Grapes of Wrath" from another viewpoint. It's a wife and mother providing for her children under miserable circumstances, while her husband tramps around the country playing a banjo, searching for answers to the puzzle of Daniel Tomelin, keeping his hillbilly sense of humor, his humanity, his love of God and nature intact, while deep inside feeling ashamed and unworthy of the family he loves with all his heart. Like hundreds of other men during those impoverished years, Daniel's wounded pride for being unable to care for his wife and children prevents him from going home.
Face the Winter Naked provides an engrossing read in which Turner interweaves history, geography, and a compelling love story. More than that, it is a story that looks beyond the surface, delving into the inner workings of the human mind, a powerful narrative that illuminates larger issues of humanity that are timeless and volatile and just as apropos today as decades ago: War. Political strife. Economic collapse. Environmental catastrophe. Division of families. Cruelty and oppression. Poverty, inequity, and all the faces of prejudice. But it is also about love. And faith. And strength. And hope, forgiveness, and perseverance.
Readers may feel they are hiking with this simple carpenter through the Ozark hills of Missouri as he wears out his cardboard "Hoover" insoles searching for his next meal, an odd job, or shelter from the dust and sweltering heat that summer of 1932. But they'll be glad they're not.
"Face the Winter Naked is a gorgeously written and evocative novel of an earlier economic crisis: the Great Depression. Readers looking for a stunning read, intelligent and emotional on every level, will not be disappointed." ~ Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of Crazy Beautiful and the The Education of Bet
"Face The Winter Naked is a poignant tale of a family's plight during the Great Depression. Plagued by traumatic memories of the First World War, Daniel abandons his family, leaving his wife LaDaisy to fend for herself and the children. The narrative alternates between Daniel's life as a hobo seeking work and LaDaisy's struggle to keep her family alive while fighting off the advances of a man with the power to leave her and her children homeless. Turner's engaging writing tells their stories with compassion and insight and vividly brings to life the feel of the era. If you liked Water for Elephants, this is one for you." (May 21, 2010 by MonK, an Amazon customer)
The great war tore apart lives, and the depression didn't help. "Face the Winter Naked" is a novel of two such situations, telling the story of Daniel Tomelin, a traumatized World War I veteran and his family. A story of the challenges of family and facing tragedy and the constant challenges of motherhood during these rough times, "Face the Winter Naked" is a touching work of Depression fiction, highly recommended. (From Amazon.com December 4, 2010, By Midwest Book Review, Oregon, WI USA)