I’m always drawn to unique book with its unique concept and Frolic was the exactly like that. Frolic was cozy and feel good humorous fiction with well written portrayal of nudity and body confidence.
Frolic by Matthew Franklin Sias
Publication Date : October 8th 2021
Publisher : Vulpine Press
Genre : Fiction / Humor
Pages : 226
Disclaimer – I received eARC from publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to publisher.
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A nudist park wasn’t exactly where Brian thought he’d be at thirty-four. But homeless, jobless, and about to be divorced, it’s where he ends up. Living in his grandmother’s trailer, whiling away the days in a drunken stupor, his elderly neighbor gardening totally starkers.
A self-confessed ‘textile’ and alcohol enthusiast, he is at a crossroads in life. But when the park’s future comes under threat, Brian finds himself desperate to save his new home and the rest of its aging residents.
Over time he becomes drawn to these extraordinary people, where no one cares how much money you earn or what you look like. Where people are free to be themselves as nature intended.
well written book on nudity and body confidence
Frolic was cozy and fun humorous fiction that revolved around adventure of Brian at nudist park that turned him into from textile to nudist in making. The story revolved around concept of nudity, perception against it, joy of being free and safe, body confidence, close-knit community, friendship, and love.
Writing was lucid, gripping, and fast paced with short chapters that made it easy to flip pages. It was first person narrative from Brian’s perspective that worked well here.
Plot was interesting. It started with Brian coming to live at Deep Valley Family Nudist Park with his grandmother on losing his job, house and marriage. He was having hard time adjusting with nude aged people all around. But when his grandmother had accident and Park was threatened to be sold he found himself taking off his clothes and desperate to save the park.
It was interesting to read how Brian came out of his reservation, understood the concept of nudity, and came to love the community.
I’ve often thought that our bodies are kind of like vehicles that we just get to drive through life to get us around. We’ve had some Dodge Ram Power Diesels come through here, an occasional Maserati, and more than our share of mini-vans, but most of us are like Toyota Camrys—solid and dependable, but not very striking to look at. We all just bond over our love of being naked and free the way we were intended to be.”
Character and park introduction in the beginning of book was amazing. This was more character driven than plot driven. All characters were developed and realistic. Most of them were 50+ elders. They weren’t introduced in detail but it was interesting to read about them. Dolores and Clara- Brian’s grandmother- were my most favorite secondary characters. Brian and Lisa were only young in the Deep Valley community and were most interesting to read.
Brian was great throughout the book. He was smart, academic, PhD professor but his alcoholic nature put a drawback in life. He didn’t understand the concept of nudity, his eccentric grandma and she making Deep Valley Park her home but never was judgmental towards nudist elders even though he felt uncomfortable to be among them. I liked how staying more at park, interacting with park members and meeting Lisa changed his view. He understood concept of nudity with more open mind, let go of his reservation and discomfort of being nude in public, and felt at home in community. I admired him even more for accepting what Lisa did for living and never felt jealous and possessive about her work.
Lisa was free spirited, unabashed, confident, bold and strong old timer at nudist park. Author showed her vulnerability through her work and the how late she realized what she want to be in life. She did house cleaning job for living but without clothes and that paid well. I liked her for enjoying her work even though she came across weird clients with their even weirder demands. She was pure nudist like all park member who didn’t care what anybody did in life and never judged Brian for his alcoholic nature and setbacks in his life.
Best part of the book the setting. I enjoyed reading clothing optional Deep Valley nudist park, its history and rules, its layout, how membership worked, its “book of shame”, and how lack of new membership and young blood was affecting finance of the park, their terminology ‘textile’ for person preferring clothes…. but best of all was the community. They all were friendly and happier, greeted everyone they come across, member and nonmembers alike, strictly following rules of keeping eye contact, no leering, staring or public arousal or misbehavior making it safe for both women and kids. I also enjoyed reading about other nudist park, beaches, trails, and resorts all over the America. I didn’t know about AANR- American Association of Nude Recreation until I read about it in this book.
There was definitely talk about body parts as the book was about nudity but it never felt overly done or uncomfortable. I loved the way author portrayed concept of nudity and body confidence, people’s wrong perception against nudity and how taking off clothes makes people come close to nature, stripped of status and judgement, making everyone feel equal and united that we fail to feel with clothes. This was inspired from author’s personal experience and it reflected well here.
“without clothes, nobody knows your social status and everyone’s on an even playing field.”
I also like part of religion here that was used as weapon and judged nudist community. In fact, the villain here was reverend and I wasn’t shocked at was revealed about him later in the book. I also enjoyed some funny moments at Deep Valley Park.
Twist and turns weren’t really surprising or shocking but I like going along with the flow. The climax was simple. It was little sad but felt anticlimactic. I was expecting a drama or fight but at the end was great how future of park changed and how characters’ life also changed and had their happy ending.
Why 4 stars-
I like drama and I was expecting it with Rev here as villain and reading about his wife’s view and her feeling towards Rev’s patriarchal, dominating, and righteous nature who acted differently from what he was preaching. I would have loved him to be exposed but none of that happened that disappointed me a little.
Overall, Frolic was fun, cozy, refreshing and feel-good fiction with well written portrayal of concept of nudity.
I recommend this if you love,
concept of nudity
exploring other places for nudist
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