Dismal and bleak, this depicts the story of an introspective woman struggling through adolescence with only part of a face. The writing is strong, the observations keen and telling. I felt the last 1/3 could have used the same detail and storytelling as the first 2/3.
read this during college...wonderful book to help understand how a child deals with being different. It conitues into adulthood...just excellent reading. If you can remember books some 10 years later..than its good :)
Fiercely honest writing by a poet who died young. In this memoir she tells a story of great suffering and remarkable strenght without sentimentality and some humor. She is able to capture the pain of peer rejection and the feeling of wanting to be special
"I spent five years of my life being treated for cancer, but since then I've spent fifteen years being treated for nothing other than looking different from everyone else. It was the pain from that, from feeling ugly, that I always viewed as the great tragedy of my life. The fact that I had cancer seemed minor in comparison."
**Named On of the Best Books of the Year by USA Today.
**A New York Times Notable Book
This was very moving, as all those who reviewed have already stated.
One thing that was really clear, but has not been commented upon, is how parents attitudes affect a child's thinking throughout life. Much of her issues came from parental ignorance (some of which was due to the time), and how children remember what a parent says and internalizes it throughout their life.
This book was a very powerful book for me. It was about Lucy Grealy's journey as a child through the discovery and treatment of cancer in her jaw. She also writes about the subsequent aftermath of the experience of having to go through life looking so different from everyone else, and her fervent wish to just fit it. Lucy does talk a lot about her treatments, reconstructive procedures and frequent hospitializations, but she does so with candor and uncommon insight for someone so young to have endured.
Lucy eventually died of a drug overdose, and reading this book helped me understand how seductive drugs would have been for her. I think Lucy's understanding of what it was like to be on the fringe of society, to being different; and her ability to express those feelings will stay with me for a long time.
I also read Ann Patchett's "Truth and Beauty" which is about her friendship with Lucy Grealy. It added more background to what what going on with Lucy from a different perspective. I think it's great to read both these books together.
I had previously read a book about her by Ann Patchett. This book filled in details from Lucy's point of view. The other had more "dirt" on her. I liked being able to read about her from both perspectives.