Ambrose Young was beautiful. 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 is about learning to love who you are, whether you were born that way or became that way.
It’s about forgiving yourself for things that are out of your control and learning to continue loving.
Fern was a shy bookworm, who secretly loved Ambrose Young. She was small and pale, with red hair and a crooked smile. Add glasses on top of that and she knew that Ambrose would never give her the time of day.
Ambrose Young was the small town sports hero. He was beautiful, with muscles, dark wavy hair, and a killer smile. After his mom left him with his step-dad, Ambrose did all he could do to be the best and to make Elliott Young proud of him.
“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?”
While they were still in high school something happened between Fern and Ambrose, something that made Ambrose really mad (I can’t tell you what it is, that would ruin it). But what transpired in high school will play a role in their lives later on.
While Ambrose and Fern were seniors in high school, September 11th happened. They watch it on TV at school and something inside Ambrose told him he needed to do something to help. To everyone’s surprise, he decided to joined the military. Ambrose was supposed to go be a college wrestler but his heart was telling him he needed to do something for his country. His friends, Beans, Grant, Jesse, and Paulie joined him.
Five young men went off to war and only one returned.
I don’t want to give away too many details from the book but when the one young man returned, he was not the same young man that left.
“Everybody is a main character to someone”
Fern and her best friend Bailey do what they can to help this young man. He fights them along the way but eventually he lets them in.
But what happens when life takes another turn? What happens when you cannot control everything around you? Will you survive or will life get the best of you?
I really enjoyed this book. This is my first Amy Harmon book but it will not be my last. I love stories about solders and how they find themselves after returning from war. That is the story Amy told in this book. This book made me laugh and cry and cry some more. (At 80% into the book, I wanted to throw it across the room because of the tears I was sheading.) This book makes you think about life and how quickly it can be gone. It makes you think about the beauty on the inside of a person and how that beauty can be often overlooked.
Amy, you really impressed me with this one.
About the Author:
Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Her books have been published in eighteen languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Utah.
Amy Harmon has written eleven novels, including the USA Today Bestsellers, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, and the bestselling historical, From Sand and Ash. Her novel, A Different Blue, is a New York Times Bestseller. Her recent release, The Bird and the Sword, is a Goodreads Best Book of 2016 nominee.