But your face is painted green with respect to how they work. If you are diligent, you may have even tricked yourself into a deeper understanding of bricks by knowing they are made of atoms which are objects , which make up molecules also objects , which make bricks you guessed it, objects. You make a house and it is beautiful. The next day the client asks you to make a ship. Some googling tells you that ships are structures that accept people as arguments and live on water which is just a collection of molecules.
Seems to be similar to the house situ. But this is an important client, so you want to make sure you use cutting edge technology. Some more googling tells you that the newest, sexiest framework for making people-storing devices that live on large stacks of molecules is glass. There seem to be massive buildings made from glass.
A Face Like Glass
Your ship will also be made from glass. You build the ship on land. All seems to be working, people can go in and out.
You then launch the ship into the sea. Someone on the bottom deck opens a velux window and all the water floods in. The ship sinks. But the greatest casualty is that all of your assumed knowledge about glass, ships and water sink with it. You are naked, exposed and realise you know nothing. Imposter syndrome sets in. You start researching and realise that each of these topics opens up a realm of terms you are not familiar with. You wish you had just used bricks all along as you know them and love them. You start arbitrarily fitting bricks together in a ship-type format. You throw a brick into the sea and watch it sink.
You cry. Everything you thought understood about software comes crashing down around you. The manufacturers that craft these specialized shapes also get orders for bulk bottles intended for other products, such as soft drinks, which are uniform and substantial in number. Meanwhile, the consumer beverage industry is leaning away from bottling in plastic.
A worker checks bottles of Sekt, during the bottling process in the Rotkaeppchen-Mumm factory in Freyburg, Germany. Facing unexpected shortages is detrimental to the wine business, from producer to consumer. Bottling wine at the right point in the vinification process is essential.
A Face Like Glass - Wikipedia
For example, German Sekt, a bubbly wine made in the same fashion as French Champagne in which the addition of sugar and yeast to base wine in the bottle initiates a second fermentation which creates the characteristic bubbles. Without a bottle, there is no Sekt. For now, wineries may have the option of using alternative bottles if possible, otherwise, they will wait out the shortage until ideal bottles can be sourced. Her instincts are always to care for others, regardless of their status, but when she finds herself in the Drudgery, the part of Caverna where the drudges live and work, she stares in fascination at workers doing hard, dangerous labor, and thinks that it's difficult to feel anything for them, "so dogged, placid and docile, a hundred heads all with the same Face" p.
As she watches, however, a young girl drops something and is sent to pick it up, falling to her death in the process:. And then, quite suddenly, everything changed before [Neverfell's] eyes. The figures on the wall ceased to be ants and became people.
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Suddenly she could imagine the strain on their shoulders, their broken nails, the chill of spray, the stomach-twisting awareness of the hungry drop below. How had she been stupid enough to think that these people were not grief-stricken, or cold, or weary, or angry? They just did not have the Faces to show any of these things. They had always been denied such expressions, and now, at last, Neverfell was starting to understand why.
German Wineries Face A 'Terrible Shortage' Of Glass Bottles
The cost of seeing painful realities is shown through Neverfell, whose devastated understanding is displayed, like everything she feels, on her face, causing those who view her as a tool to see her as "broken. This is a flexible type of political fiction, as the drudges can be seen as analogous to the faceless masses of many societies in the past. Alternatively, they can be interpreted as a more immediate social commentary, and I'm probably not alone in hearing echoes of the rhetoric used today by so many political figures as they go after one underprivileged group or another.
She's completely unable to remain quiet and unnoticed while the infants are taught docile Faces, however, and she teaches them to pull a basic playground face, which she admits makes you look like "a deformed frog" p. And the virtue of the face-pulling is that anyone can teach it, and anyone can learn it.
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Power to the people of the simplest sort. Yet again I think Hardinge has achieved something quite remarkable here, as she shows the heartbreaking effects of evil behavior, yet does it with humor and lightness of touch. When Neverfell's revolution begins, the drudges storming the palace gate are all pulling the face, and the image of hundreds of people looking like distorted frogs but collectively forming "the Face of revolution" p. Finally, there's the plot itself.
On my first read of the book, it felt a bit of a breathless rush from crisis to disaster to discovery to crisis. However, when I reread, and even more, worked on this review, I came to see it as differently plotted rather than in any way plotless. Which is what I do naturally" p. The book itself moves zigzag-hop as it playfully, joyfully shows us new perspectives.
This continues right through to the very moving ending, which has such a lovely description of just the sky, the open air, that you feel as if you too are seeing them anew. Even at this length, I haven't the space to do justice to many highly successful elements of the novel, that could each be given a full paragraph or two. Or stalwart, cranky Erstwhile, the errand boy who always has Neverfell's back, giving out to her for her rashness all the while.
Or the Facesmith whose belief that her art is sufficient justification for anything she may do to others is chillingly relevant to our world. There's also the theme of traps, which runs through the book, starting with the seemingly innocuous trap-lanterns that give light and oxygen to the inhabitants of Caverna, until Neverfell realizes that Caverna itself or is that herself?
Returning to Martin Lewis's review of Twilight Robbery , there is just one part where I part company from him completely, and that's when he says that reading a book by Frances Hardinge makes him want to read an adult novel by her.
What I can say without hesitation is that A Face Like Glass leaves me wanting only more Frances Hardinge, as long as it's anything like this good. Hallie O'Donovan lives in County Dublin with two daughters, two dogs, and a precarious stack of books at the end of the bed which will almost definitely take just one or two more. It is pretty much perfect so I certainly wouldn't complain if Hardinge keeps writing books rather than ever writing a book for adults.
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