I'm looking for a book I read sometime about 2008-2015, although the book itself is probably older.

  • There is a woman who's a nudist but only at home (possibly just because of the weather where she lives).
  • She has a sort of short dance she calls the 'question mark', which she performs for another character.
  • She is disappointed that he doesn't understand it, and leaves him tied to the bed in an abandoned house.
  • Some time later a parachutist encountering some difficulty falls on the roof of the house
    • This may have led to the discovery and rescue of the tied-up character, but I think it more likely caused their death from the ceiling collapse
  • Therefore there was a confusing scene for the police to find.
  • The woman might have a distinctive or interesting job that she nonetheless thinks of as 'just a job'.

It's not impossible that I'm conflating two characters here, a mother and daughter, for the woman character

It's a long shot because they may very well be different books, but I also remember a book from the same sort of time featuring a passage about the benefits of sex with gas masks and rubber sheets. The cover was light blue or white with a blurry naked woman. But like I say, I'm not at all sure that's the same one.

  • I've found the second book, which is in fact a different one - it was In Between The Sheets by Ian McEwan. The book with the question mark dance I still don't know about.
    – Silver
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


found! (finally)

it's The Planets, by Jennifer Finney Boylan.

a part-time nudist:

On a typical day Judith passed beneath this heraldic shield [at the door of her apartment block] at six, and was naked by six-fifteen.

with a question mark:

She moved one arm into an arc over her head [...] This was a movement from her repertoire called the Human Question Mark. Judith wasn't quite sure what this movement meant, but she did know that it was something that belonged to her.

this is where there was some confusion. with another character tied to the bed, she doesn't perform the question mark but another set of movements, at the end of which she rather than him is struck by a falling parachutist.

The body of Edith Schmertz, hurtling earthward through space and time and thoughts of Dwayne, crashed through the eaves of the Wilkins' summer home, and fell, bull's-eye, upon Judith Lenahan. The two women collapsed on the floor in a cacophony of wood and shingles and falling moss, and the razor, still buzzing, flew out of Judith's hand and skittered onto the hardwood floor in the bedroom. It lay there vibrating, rocking back and forth, inches away from the bed upon which Dent Wilkins now lay captive


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.