Thursday, 24 October 2013

Making Faces - Amy Harmon

Ok so I really need to give myself a wee break between these emotional books I have been reading.
I picked up this book yesterday and ended up staying up late again because I couldn't put it down. Such a beautifully told story.

Making Faces

Synopsis - Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.
Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

I came away from this book last night in total awe and adoration for Amy and the story she has told. It's beautiful while still being real and the feelings in this book are raw and honest.

So I can relate to Fern and her high school experience and the feelings she had about being invisible. I can relate to Ambrose and his feelings of wishing things were different, while I didn't have a whole town behind me with sports etc I can understand that he had a whole pile of expectations on his shoulders and all he wanted to do was be invisible. I loved that aspect of the book. The main characters all had very real qualities and the way Amy has told the story you just connect with them because you can see how they are feeling.

As I followed the story on through the 9/11 stuff and Ambrose and his mates signing up and heading to war, I could feel everything as if I knew a soldier first hand who had been shipped off to Iraq.

Coming home - my heart broke for everyone involved and how they had to sort through their feelings about what happened and what's going to happen now.
As I said this book is raw and honest. 

I loved Bailey and his positive thinking and saying the first thing that came to mind. His humor was a shining light in such a heavy story. He definitely one of my favourite characters in this book.

With this book I actually did something I don't normally do and used my Kindle highlight function so I could remember to tell you all about my favourite quotes (I normally get these off Goodreads).

Fern and Ambrose are writing love letters back and forth in highschool (Ambrose thinks he's writing to someone else), They end up playing a game of this or that.
"Nobody or Nowhere? Fern: I'd rather be nobody at home than somebody somewhere else.

Ambrose: I'd rather be nowhere. Being nobody when you're expected to be somebody gets old.
Fern: How would you know? Have you been nobody?
Ambrose: Everybody who is somebody becomes nobody the moment they fail."

Conversation between Fern and Bailey.
"You just need to acknowledge it. Face the shit." Bailey's voice grew stronger, strident even. "Accept the truth in it. Own it, wallow in it, become one with the shit."
Fern's poem
“If God made all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?

Does he make the legs that cannot walk and eyes that cannot see?
Does he curl the hair upon my head 'til it rebels in wild defiance?
Does he close the ears of a deaf man to make him more reliant?
Is the way I look a coincidence or just a twist of fate?
If he made me this way, is it okay, to blame him for the things I hate?
For the flaws that seem to worsen every time I see a mirror,For the ugliness I see in me, for the loathing and the fear.
Does he sculpt us for his pleasure, for a reason I can't see?
If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?” 

A song Paulie sings to the guys when they are in Iraq
“I wrote your name across my heart
So I would not forget.
The way I felt when you were born
Before we'd even met

I wrote your name across my heart
So your heart beats with mine
And when I miss you most I trace
Each loop and every line

I wrote your name across my heart,
So we could be together
So I could hold you close to me
And keep you there forever.” 

This book is definitely one that will stay with me.
I highly recommend you read it.

Click here to find it on Amazon

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