Daily Archives: 22 October, 2013

MAKING FACES by AMY HARMON

making faces

 

SYNOSPIS

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.

making faces collage

From Making Faces by Amy Harmon

‘If God makes 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 the deaf man to make him more reliant?

Is the way I look 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?’

 i will wait for you

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

Jenny: 5++++ Powerful and moving stars
Gitte:  5++++ Emotional and inspiring stars

Jenny:  We fell in love with Amy Harmon’s prose in A Different Blue and were eagerly awaiting the release of Making Faces. Whilst we hoped we would love this book, what we didn’t expect was to not only love it but to experience the profound impact this story would have on us. It was an achingly beautiful journey, powerfully told and one that won’t be forgotten. Ever.

“Thing about it. There isn’t heartache if there hasn’t been joy. I wouldn’t feel loss if there hadn’t been love.”

Each character was imperfectly perfect in their own special way and I don’t think there was a time in Making Faces when my heart wasn’t either wrecked or soaring. Each word was so vividly beautiful that I could recreate each scene in my head as it played out. The imagery used by Amy Harmon was flawless and I most certainly cried throughout, both with happiness, awe and sadness. I was in awe of such brilliant storytelling and such uniquely rich and inspiring characters who taught us so much.

“I’ve often thought that beauty can be a deterrent to love.”
“Why?”
“Because sometimes we fall in love with a face and not what’s behind it.”

This story about finding what’s exceedingly beautiful inside a person,  about loss, pain, triumph and love is without a doubt up there as one of my most special reads ever, and I mean EVER!  What about you G?

Gitte: I actually struggle to find the words to adequately describe just what I felt reading ‘Making Faces’. If I say this is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read, yes that’s EVER READ it wouldn’t even do it justice.

“Victory is in the battle.”

I sobbed through the whole book. It didn’t cease as the tears flowed freely, be it out of pure gut wrenching sadness, high flying elation or pure inspiration caused by the perfection that is Amy Harmon’s writing. This Author is pure class, not a word is superfluous nor wasted. Each serves a purpose and burrows deep within your heart, never to leave. I wish and hope this is the one book everyone buys this year as it is without doubt one of the most beautiful, poignant and emotional stories to be released this year.

“True beauty, the kind that doesn’t wash off, takes time. It takes pressure. It takes incredible endurance…”

Jenny:  Going into Making Faces, all we knew was what we had gleamed from the synopsis and went in with no preconceived opinions. On that note we implore reviewers to please allow our fellow readers to acquaint themselves with this story the way the author intended it, without spoilers.  It is for that reason our review will not go into detail about the story. What I will say is that you will not meet more loveable and extraordinary characters as Ambrose, Fern, Bailey and all supporting characters in Making Faces and you will be hard pressed to read such a moving and inspirational story such as this.

“Because terrible things happen to everyone, Brosey. We’re all just so caught up in our own crap that we don’t see the shit everyone else is wading through.” – Bailey

Whilst each character may be flawed physically (though not in my eyes) and scarred emotionally they have something so special, so unique that you are drawn to their beauty, strength and pure hearts.  What each character considers a flaw I view as a strength.

Lost or Alone? Ambrose said alone, and Fern responded, “I would much rather be lost with you than alone without you, so I choose lost with a caveat.” Fern

Strength of character and strength of heart. These characters each possessed the most endearing dispositions I can tell you they will steal your hearts. They will break your hearts, mend your hearts, they will make your hearts soar and they will leave you astounded with their beauty which is immeasurable. These were remarkable characters with herculean hearts weren’t they Gitte?

Gitte: Oh wow, every single character in ‘Making Faces; served a moving purpose. A purpose to love, protect, educate and inspire.

‘When it’s all said and done, did I matter?”

Words such as perfection, horrid, ugly and beautiful are merely just that…words. Words that can hurt or flatter. Words that can be thrown without thought of consequence. Words that, by society, can be used to define and describe another person aesthetically be it right or wrong. But who determines the true definition of these words and what are they measured up against? Who has the right to ‘negatively’ regulate these words and use them against another as a point of reference? Do we freely banter these words around, generalising the masses, as a way to separate people without a thorough knowledge of ‘said person’? It breaks my heart but that is life and the world we live in sadly.

‘Smart or Beautiful?’

 ‘Nobody or Nowhere?

This story broke me, and every single character found its way into my heart as I did a lot of soul searching with Bailey, Fern, Ambrose and everyone else. They amazed me, they inspired me, they made me laugh and they made me cry. They strengthened me and they left me hoping that whatever their ‘differences’ was that made them stand out from society’s perception of what’s beautiful and perfect; the actual true beauty and purity is truly shown to be what’s on the inside and in the act of how we treat others. Now that‘s true strength…that’s true beautiful perfection. Yes by natural order, we must compare to describe, however, surely in this regard the way to do so should not negatively and hurtful impact another. If only…..

“Tonight’s one of those nights, Fernie.”

“Too much reality?”

“Way too much reality.”

Making Faces has an incredible heart. The characters all had incredible hearts. Amy Harmon gave us a piece of her heart. And for this, I am thankful, and I will treat it with the care it so rightly deserves to receive and I urge you to do the same.

Please pick up this book, be amazed, be humbled and be moved as you sob your hearts out and embrace the truth, the love, the humility and the awe-inspiring story of Bailey, Fern and Ambrose. Three people I will never forget. Amy Harmon’s writing is flawless yet again, evoking such powerful emotion with her words. Telling a story you’ll never forget nor would you want to. It’s quite simply STUNNING!

“Love is not love which alters when alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove; Oh, no, it is an ever-fixed mark,

That looks on tempests and is never shaken.” – Shakespeare

Jenny:  Making Faces is an unforgettable and deeply moving story that was inspirational, emotive, striking and so rich in detail that it enabled me to feel as if I was more a participant in this story rather than a mere reader.

“I used to be afraid of going to hell. But now that I’m here, hell doesn’t seem so bad.” Ambrose

It was thought provoking and contained the most powerfully poignant message and one that, if we all lived by, the world would be a far better place. 

“Your dad says that ’cause he loves you. Just like my mom tells me I’m pretty ’cause she loves me. I’m not pretty…and you can’t beat Ambrose, buddy.”

The story of Ambrose, Fern and Bailey is one that will seep into your soul and stay there. These three people, and I say people because that’s what they were to me, they felt like real people and I lived and breathed them and they, in return, left me breathless. The beautiful prose will mesmerize and enrapture you.  The deep emotion throughout will sear you. You won’t forget this story in a hurry.

‘Could you belong to someone who didn’t want you? Fern decided it was possible because her heart was his, and whether or not he wanted it didn’t seem to make much difference.’

Bravo Amy Harmon. Your writing is sublime and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving so much of yourself to this book, it couldn’t have been easy.  We’ll be shouting about this one from the rooftops.  Everyone should read this book, learn from it and embrace its message. Absolutely spellbinding, heartbreaking, emotional, powerful, beautiful, inspirational and uplifting.  Mere words don’t do justice to the experience I was afforded in Making Faces.

ARC supplied by author in exchange for an honest review

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

MAKING FACES by AMY HARMON
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making faces

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