I received an advanced reader copy of the novel My Favorite Scar free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
My Favorite Scar was published originally in Spanish under the title Ambar. (Please forgive my lack of accents, I have no idea how to use them in this app!) Even before I finished reading it, I knew that I would love it. And I must say that I am extremely grateful for both the author and the translator, who made this book accessible to someone who only has conversational Spanish in her toolbelt.
This novel tells the story of a young teenage girl, named Ambar, who has always lived a life on the run. A life that was thrust upon her by her father. Fake identities, new names and cities, new cars, drugs and violence, cleaning up her father's wounds when he comes home shot or stabbed. That's the life Ambar has known. And it's not one she enjoys, but she feels like that's all there is to it. And when her father promises one last job, to get revenge for his best friend's death, what can Ambar do other than go along? But as she travels with her father and her faithful sawed-off shotgun, Ambar begins to realize that what she thought may not be the truth.
It has definitely been a while since I gave a book a 5-star review but this one definitely deserves it. This is a story of agency, of finding freedom, and of coming to grips with adulthood in ways that most popular western fiction strays away from. Ferraro uses beautiful prose that keeps you turning the page, and there's a realness to it that I loved. Ferraro refuses to hide any of the dirty truth and we see it all, the stinking clothes, the flies hovering over dead bodies, the lust and shame and remorse. All the while, we can feel Ambar's confusion, her hurt and her desire for a normal life. All she wants is a place she can call home, a friend who knows her real name. She wants to be more and we root for her from the beginning to the end.
When was the last time you read a book that was translated? How did you like it? Let me know down below!