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The Story of My Face

3.36  ·  Rating Details ·  111 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A young girl grows up an outsider, then becomes drawn into the life of a local family with some curious beliefs. They treat her as a daughter, and take her away with them to a religious holiday camp. It is here that she is introduced to the Finnish Envallist branch of Protestantism, and here that events start to take a terrible turn. Rejected by some of the sectarians for ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by Phoenix (first published January 1st 2002)
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3 stars
Long-listed for the 2002 Orange prize

Although I didn’t find this story as compelling a read as Kathy Page’s next novel, Alphabet this was still a real “page-turner” for me.

The Story of My Face is actually three interconnected stories that weave back and forth in time and country. It begins in present-day Finland. We meet Natalie, a professor, specializing in the history of Envalism (fictional), an extreme Protestant sect founded by Tuomas Envall.
Feb 03, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it
Interesting book in that I'm not sure how I feel about it. Is it brilliant? Maybe. Is it half thought-out? Maybe. I had a hard time getting into it, but the curiosity about what happened to her face kept me going. That is not revealed and can't really even be guessed at until the very end. The author was one of the few I've read who successfully foreshadowed an event, but did not give it away by bits until you had pretty much put it all together before it was revealed. That's not to say that the ...more
May 14, 2012 Beth rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"An elegantly compelling story of how a young girl’s obsession forever changes the lives of those around her…a disciplined exploration of the complexity of human motivation and our need for redemption." – Lynne Van Luven, Vancouver Sun

Kathy Page’s The Story of My Face is at once compelling and confounding. Page is a skilled enough writer that you are pulled into the mysterious events surrounding Natalie’s disfigurement - the cause and extent of which you learn little about until the book’s final
Aug 13, 2016 Annemariem rated it liked it
A young girl - with no home life to speak of - falls under the spell of a weird Christian fringe sect, because she is in love with a family who belong to the faith. She is more or less adopted by the parents and accompanies them on the sect's annual summer camp. She truly tries to fit in, but - because of her deprived childhood - she has no concept of what is acceptable behaviour in Christian eyes and in society as a whole. Obviously everything erupts.
The book is written in the 'then' of her c
Sep 09, 2008 Puppet_world rated it it was amazing
Een van de beste boeken die ik ooit heb gelezen. Het pakte me, het hield me vast, prikkelde mijn nieuwsgierigheid en de opbouw van gemoedelijk naar erger en benauwend is zo goed beschreven. Het geeft weer hoe mensen zo snel in een sekte terecht kunnen komen en hoe moeilijk je er weer uit komt. Wat voor trauma dat kan opleveren, maar ook wat voor emontionele mooie gedachtes. Hoe je jeugd invloed kan hebben op het zoeken naar herkenning, maar ook naar risico's.

Absoluut een aanrader voor mensen die
Jayne Bauling
Jan 20, 2012 Jayne Bauling rated it liked it
I like the restraint of Page's writing.

Thirteen-year-old Natalie has a vast hunger - for food, for information, for love. When she latches on to an extreme Protestant sect, events are set in motion that will change several lives and her face. Years later, with much still to be resolved, she comes to Finland to research the sect's founder.

The author avoids making caricatures of the fundamentalists, rather portraying them with compassion and insight.

A quiet story, simply told.
Eva Stachniak
Mar 17, 2014 Eva Stachniak rated it it was amazing
This is my first Kathy Page book, and it won't be the last. Her writing is crisp, sensual, the story rolls swiftly and the characters are both intriguing and disconcerting. The emotional world of the novel was for me it's major draw.
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She has her BA from York (England) and her MA in writing from the University of East Anglia. A novelist and widely anthologised short-story writer, she has also written for television and radio. Her themes are loss, survival, and transformation: the magic by which a bad hand becomes a good chance. Her fifth novel, The Story of My Face, was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, and is optioned ...more
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“I see Christina, emerging, chewing and sticky-fingered, between two panels of the tent. Partly out of bravado and partly in order to test what will happen, I bite her on the arm as hard as I can” 1 likes
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