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About Face Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 381 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra Books; English Language edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821770209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821770207
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There's enough melodrama in Michaels's newest offering (after No Place Like Home) to quench the thirst of soap opera devotees during a daytime drama drought, and the author's fans will likely lap up every word. At 17, Casey Edwards has experienced plenty of heartache and betrayal. Her mother, Evie, neglects her; her stepbrother, Ronnie, sexually abuses her; and her fianc‚ may leave her if she doesn't have sex with him. The day Casey finally fights back and stabs Ronnie in the leg, she miscarries his baby and comes to 10 years later in a mental hospital with no memory of her life before being admitted. Evie, now wealthy and married, greets Casey with little enthusiasm, as do the citizens of Sweetwater, Ga., and she can't help but wonder why. Slowly, she pieces together the lost details of her life with the help of Dr. Blake Hunter, a gorgeous family friend, but there are those who will do anything to keep her memories buried. Michaels's characterizations are far from subtle, and her plot consists of too many highs and lows with very little in between. However, her incisive descriptions of Southern life (and the mannerisms that separate the wealthy from the working masses) will impress, even if the conventional romance between Blake and Casey doesn't.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Casey Edwards is finally being released from a home for the mentally disabled after 10 years of amnesia. Dr. Blake Hunter, a friend of the family, is surprised by Casey's cropped-short hair and brown institutional dress, but has no trouble getting her safely ensconced in her new home. And new home it is, since when Casey left, hers was run down. This is a fine estate. Other things are also odd to Casey. Why will no one talk about the events preceding the day she was institutionalized? Who is trying to make her doubt her own sanity? Did the flashbacks she's experiencing really happen or are they a sign of a mental breakdown? Michaels is at her storytelling best here as Casey is determined to discover the truth no matter how traumatic, and Blake is just as determined to help this woman who is slowly becoming someone he could love. Maria Hatton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Fern Michaels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Fool Me Once, Sweet Revenge, The Nosy Neighbor, Pretty Woman, and dozens of other novels and novellas. There are over seventy million copies of her books in print. Fern Michaels has built and funded several large day-care centers in her hometown, and is a passionate animal lover who has outfitted police dogs across the country with special bulletproof vests. She shares her home in South Carolina with her four dogs and a resident ghost named Mary Margaret.

Customer Reviews

She seems to give a large part of the story to characters that are inconsequential to the plot.
FZF
Yes, I know it's just a story, but where a mother wants to make her child insane/killed doesn't wash well with me.
"starburstnbubble"
The "Mommy, Dearest" of the main character was a little hard to believe, yet was lots of fun to hate.
mzglorybe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "marble" on May 3, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like Michaels' style, and unlike her Kentucky trilogy that drips with sorrow and tragedy, About Face is a step up from that. It's a good murder mystery with plenty of surprises and pretty darned hot in places (oh my!). I had a difficult time grasping Casey's character, though, and her relationship with her mother once she's out of the asylum. And why, after cutting herself with glass chards obviously put in her body lotion on purpose, would she stay in that environment? A previous reviewer is correct. Someone abused, institutionalized, and drugged for so many years would not be able to cope well in this paranoia-inducing situation as well as Casey did.
Well written, morose in places, but at least Casey wasn't digging up horse bones (I'm still not over Kentucky Sunrise).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By FZF on October 17, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The plot takes place on an island, and it feels like everyone on the island has a few chapters devoted to him or her. I think that the plot is drawn out so much that it makes the reading frustrating. She seems to give a large part of the story to characters that are inconsequential to the plot. Although, the plot is a bit dark (childhood trauma) you are hooked right away. But the interest may fade with all of the added stories. I found myself skimming pages looking for the real plot to pickup again. If you have a lot of time and patience this is the book for you. For those of us that have little patience and much less time, it is an exasperating read and I do not recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mzglorybe VINE VOICE on June 30, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story grabs your attention right away, which is good. I don't think anything by Fern Michaels is bad - many others have been better, however.

The main character, Casey, is a young woman released from a mental institution after 10 years who cannot remember what happened to send her there. She goes back to her home town to find out. With the help of the local doctor, Blake, who becomes her love interest as well, they start unraveling the horrible story of what took place in her young life. There are a lot of twists and turns here as well as shady characters to keep the reader interested. The novel could have been absolutely captivating if it had been written just a little differently. The light-hearted bantering (dialogue) between 2 main characters took away from the seriousness of the situation. It didn't seem appropriate at times it was inserted in the story line.

It is a disturbing story, how she was repeatedly raped as a child by a stepbrother, neglected by her mother, and the dark images that haunt her but that she can't identify. She has been drugged heavily for the past 10 years in the institution, and she is afraid to take any medication, but agrees to regression therapy as a last resort to try to remember what supposedly drove her mad.

It's hard not to care about Michael's characters. The "Mommy, Dearest" of the main character was a little hard to believe, yet was lots of fun to hate. It's also a fast read and keeps you turning those pages, perfect for a day at the beach or at the airport.

One thing that did surprise me about this Fern Michaels is that in the beginning of the book Casey has a daydream of home and family, complete with dog (Fern Michaels' novels aren't complete without a dog) but in the end one isn't mentioned. A golden retriever sitting next to the bassinet of the newborn would have been more like the Michaels we know and love!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 16, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Casey Edwards spent the last decade as a resident of a mental institution, but recently was released to wander Sweetwater, Georgia. Casey's memory before her confinement is limited, but she knows her former home is Swan House. She begins to walk home, but Dr. Blake Hunter sees her hiking and gives her a lift to the house where her mother Evie lives with John Worthington.
However, Casey's return is not celebrated. In Sweetwater, the townsfolk treat her with disdain, that is those whom even react towards her, because everyone believes she is a fratricide killer. At home, she is treated like an intruder. Someone wants her dead before she recalls all she lost. Only Blake supports her, but is he and his love enough to keep her safe as she unravels the elusive past?
Though loaded with suspense and starring a heroine that readers will empathize with, the actions of the secondary characters (especially mommy dearest) seem too malevolent to believe. Their cartoon-like evil essence takes away from the tale. Still, the audience will like the lead couple and root for them to succeed as an entry against overwhelming odds. Fern Michaels provides a terse romantic suspense that her fans will enjoy.
Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shia Doggis on September 10, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the first book by Fern Michaels that I have read. It came to me in a box of paperbacks passed along by a friend. Most of the books were historical bodice-ripper romances, which didn't appeal, but I gave "About Face" a try since it is a modern romance/thriller and sounded interesting. On the positive side, the plot moves quickly and keeps you guessing. The romance between the heroine (Casey) and the hero (Blake) is a welcome bit of sunshine in Casey's otherwise bizarre and often tortured world. However, the story is stuffed with so many characters that it was hard to keep track of who was who. As other reviewers have pointed out, some of the characters were introduced and then not developed sufficiently. (For example, Julie the maid at the mansion: Although there are hints that she has some secrets of her own, we never find out anything more about her or her husband.) Other characters, particularly from the start of the book, are never mentioned again, even though all the action takes place in the same small community. What about the woman who worked at the drugstore, or Casey's best friend from high school, or the old lady and the kind nurse from the mental asylum where Casey spent 10 years? Even her former fiance and his mother, who are key to the plot at the beginning of the story, are barely mentioned later on. I also found Casey's nightmare of a mother to be totally unbelievable. There is no satisfactory explaination as to why or when Casey's mother started treating her daughter so badly, and why she would favour her no-hoper of a stepson over her own daughter (even to the extent that she tolerates regualar sexual abuse of a very young Casey by her stepson). There are a few crumbs of information about her mother's own unhappy youth, but it is never developed fully.Read more ›
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