Author: Amy Harmon
Genres: Women & Family Issues
Format: eBook • Pages: 320
Published: October 20, 2013
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 received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Amy Harmon calls her books romances, but I really think there needs to be another designation for her stories. Because while romance is part of her stories, they are so much more! They contain the whole of life—dreams, disappointments, struggles, triumphs and failures—all wrapped up in lovely prose that sinks into your soul.
Take this for example:
“True beauty, the kind that doesn’t fade or wash off, takes time. It takes pressure. It takes incredible endurance. It is the slow drip that makes the stalagtite, the shaking of the Earth that creates mountains, the constant pounding of the waves that breaks up the rocks and smooths the rough edges. And from the violence, the furor, the raging of the winds, the roaring of the waters, something better emerges, something that would otherwise never exist.
“And so we endure. We have faith that there is purpose. We hope for things we can’t see. We believe that there are lessons in loss, power in love, and that we have within us the potential for a beauty so magnificent that our bodies can’t contain it.”
And that is exactly what Making Faces is about.
Starting as children, flashing back and moving forward, the story of a group of friends emerges—all who are judged by outward appearances, and yet so much more inside.
There is Ambrose Young, a gorgeous young man who goes off to war with his buddies. He comes home scarred by that war, both physically and emotionally. Fern Taylor is a wall flower with issues. She has always loved Ambrose but doesn’t believe he would notice her. What she doesn’t realize is that he has always seen her for who she really is. Fern’s cousin, Bailey, is confined to a wheelchair due to a genetic illness, but his mind and imagination have wings. (Pay special attention to the chapter titles. They mean something.) Even the minor characters are so well-written and fully developed that I have a feeling they will stay with me for a good long while.
The writing is gorgeous. The story line compelling. The characterization, as mentioned, is stellar. I laughed and cried as Making Faces took me from the hopes of young love to the tragedy of violence and back to hope again.
There is some swearing, more than I usually like. But despite that, I’d recommend it to readers 16 and older. I loved it. Go buy this book. Now.