Considering that in all the years of existence America has yet to have a female president, the issues explored in Carrie Hayes’ historical novel NAKED TRUTH: OR EQUALITY THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT are quite timely. In an era when women are expected to follow the law though not yet allowed to vote on what laws include, and women are legally subject to the whims of any husband who ‘owns’ them, historically true life sisters Tennesse Claflin and Victoria Woodhull wantonly challenge the repressive status quo by publishing their own newspaper, opening a stock brokerage firm, and aiming to have Victoria become the first woman running for the top political position in the land.
Supported by a wealth of photographic illustration and real life newspaper clippings of the time, NAKED TRUTH is imaginative fiction based on fact at its best. Around 1868, stage craft, hypnotism, mesmerism, spiritualism, the concerns of the haves and the have nots, hidden and blatant corruption, suffragettes, racism, sexism, and each type of activism such societal currents spawn all run rampant, with many people sure the time for radical change has come, while others equally vehement that the nation can only benefit from social mores continuing to remain the same. It is an explosive era, with appearances by noted figures such as Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Harriett Beecher Stowe, and conflicting passions richly depicted from: “It is an insult to the entire mass of women in the United States if Negroes, Chinese, and every description of ignorant and brute male foreigners are granted suffrage while women remain excluded from that right” to “When women, because they are women, are hunted down through the cities of New York and New Orleans; when they are dragged from their houses and hung upon lamp-posts; when their children are torn from their arms, and their brains dashed out upon the pavement….then they will have an urgency to obtain the ballot equal to our own.” All the more riveting because the details are based on truth.
Divisiveness. Chutzpah. Seduction. Politics. Oppression. Spirituality. Gender relations. Betrayal. Healers -vs- scam artists. Fortitude. Dismay. Against-all-odds battles. Fighting the good fight. Just like the plight of humanity today, the historical and excellently well-crafted novel, NAKED TRUTH: OR EQUALITY THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Carrie Hayes has it all.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader