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Ron CharlesNo one can look at the patients in Jody Shields's new novel without flinching—but no one can look away either. The faces of these young veterans have been torn off by the inventive hardware of World War I. For the most part, though, we don't see them directly. Shields does something more unsettling: We see nurses sobbing in their rooms at night, doctors drinking in the woods and girlfriends charging past the guards into the ward, only to faint when they confront what's waiting for them…The stories of people who have suffered severe facial trauma hold a certain there-but-for-the-grace-of-God fascination, but in this quiet, exquisitely written novel, Shields is more interested in the caretakers. They must somehow retain a sense of their patients' humanity despite the ghastly physical evidence lying before them.
—The Washington Post