The Facemaker tells the extraordinary story of the pioneering plastic surgeon Harold Gillies, who dedicated himself to reconstructing the burned and broken faces of the injured soldiers under his care.
Grisly yet inspiring ... Fitzharris depicts her hero as irrepressibly dedicated and unfailingly likable. The suspense of her narrative comes not from any interpersonal drama but from the formidable challenges posed by the physical world ... The Facemaker is mostly a story of medical progress and extraordinary achievement, but as Gillies himself well knew — grappling daily with the unbearable suffering that people willingly inflicted on one another — failure was never far behind.
Both heartbreaking and inspiring, The Facemaker tells a profound story of survival, resurrection and redemption ... The Facemaker is not only a stirring tribute to the singular humanity and greatness of one man but a haunting and unforgettable elegy to the sacrifice and suffering of all the soldiers of that war.
A fascinating medical history ... As Fitzharris works her way through various types of trauma...she chronicles the rise of the various medical arts brought to bear in treating them. She threads into such discussions cultural commentary and a social history of ableist notions of beauty and health ... Fitzharris successfully balances the story of plastic surgery’s growth with a compassionate attention to those whose wounds made it possible. Photos that document the 'before and after' faces of patients are chosen with due care.