“Truth and Beauty,” by Ann Patchett is the autobiographical novel between the author (Ms. Patchett) and her friend for over twenty years Ms. Lucy Grealy (a fellow writer and best selling author of “Autobiography of a Face”). Like everything that Ms. Patchett has written and I have read, this is just another example of this writer’s amazing talent.

Ms. Grealy, who lost part of her jaw to childhood cancer, chemotherapy and radiation is a poignant example of what is right and what is wrong with our society. Ms. Grealy, who has had over thirty surgeries to reconstruct her face and mouth, and to look totally normal is obsessed with men finding her attractive, and despite a number of boyfriends, and numerous sexual encounters she never in her mind achieves the attractiveness that will allow her to walk into a room and not be looked at as the one with the deformity.

Ms. Patchett is there for her friend every step of the way, through all the surgeries, insults, and addiction to drugs, as are a number of her other friends. But it is the friendship between the two authors that is at the very center of this heart wrenching, beautiful, and up close depiction of society’s obsession with beauty. Highly, highly, recommend.

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