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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Burnt Face: Scarred For Life by Annette Swann is a memoir about a young girl who survived third-degree burn injuries that scar her physically and emotionally for the rest of her life. One of Annette's earliest memories is that of being a happy go lucky girl, living in a house in Thornbury, Victoria, with her parents, brother, aunts, uncles and cousins in her grandparents' house. When her parents were able to buy a house of their own, it is a happy milestone in her young life, but a Christmas barbecue tragic incident changed everything forever. Through no fault of hers, the nine-year-old suffered third-degree burns to 30% of her body disfiguring her face, chest, whole left arm, inner lower and upper right arm, the top portion of her left ear while her right nipple was completely burnt off. This is her story.
Annette Swann's Burnt Face: Scarred For Life is both horrifying and inspiring and it is not a work of fiction. Annette's life can be divided into two phases, before and after the burning accident. Descriptive, vivid and emotionally sincere, the author's writing style is rich in little details, so much so that the reader can easily relate to her. The story unravels on her fifteenth birthday when instead of a birthday celebration, she is recovering from yet another corrective surgery. Surprisingly, Annette Swann is not fishing for pity and there is only a tinge of remorse in the telling of her story. It is hard enough for a normal girl to go through her teenage years, but with a disfigured face, it surely takes a lot of courage and strength of character, and this is what shines through when you turn the last page of this book. An amazing story!