This powerful memoir is about the premium we put on beauty and on a womans face in particular. It took Lucy Grealy twenty years of living with a distorted self-image and more than thirty reconstructive procedures before she could come to terms with her appearance after childhood cancer and surgery that left her jaw disfigured. As a young girl, she absorbed the searing pain of peer rejection and the paralyzing fear of never being loved.
This memoir is a ruthlessly honest self-examination of the loss of physical beauty and one young womans triumph over unspeakable pain. It was the pain . . . from feeling ugly, that I always viewed as the great tragedy of my life. The fact that I had cancer seemed minor in comparison.—Lucy Grealy.