If you were forced to choose between loss of sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell, which of these would you let go? If you had to relinquish a part of your body, would it be an arm, a leg, or would you give up your face? Indignant, who, you ask, would be insane enough to sacrifice their face?
"I might not especially like who looks back at me in the mirror every morning," you declare, "but whether I do or don't, that face is me. Who would I be, after all, if I no longer had my face? No one would know me any more and I'd have to hide."
Alright, so you wouldn't offer up your face. But what would happen if you didn't have a choice, if, like youthful attractive Jenny Beaulieu in this novel, the front of your head from just below your eyes was cleaved off in an auto accident? You can no longer eat or breathe normally, taste, smell or even speak. And, of course, you dare not show the world the discoloured flaps of skin taken from other parts of you that cover up what used to be a face. We won't ask you how you'd cope, but how would you respond to an offer of a new face, one taken from another person's body? Another inane question, you reply. "Who," you ask, "would be foolish enough to turn such an offer down? What possible reasons could they have?"
Listen to Jenny's story and you may come away with another point of view. At the very least, we can promise that you'll know a lot more about just how miraculous facial allograft transplantation really is.
©2012 Gerald Neufeld (P)2012 Novel Voices Audio
“Transplant is a thoughtful read that leaves readers with many questions on the ethics of science and medicine.” (Midwest Book Review)
“Although the story is fictional, much of the science associated with transplants is incorporated into the story, the reader learning about the medical and emotional impact right along with Jenny. Neufeld sensitively explores possible results, both positive and negative, reinforcing the fact that advances in medical science should be approached with caution.” (Enid Grabiner, Rebecca’s Reads)
"This book is intelligently written and Jenny is an engaging heroine. Her story will have readers wanting to know more about real life facial transplants. The book is rooted in the latest medical and legal facts, presented almost like a non-fiction account, but with sufficient emotional layering to evince the reader's empathy." (US Review of Books)
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