Plot/Idea: This striking memoir is raw, honest, and candid, delving into the gritty backstreets of adult entertainment through the eyes of a young woman searching for empowerment and self-acceptance.
Prose: Macdonald possesses sharp storytelling skills, though at times the writing feels overdone. Her strengths shine in the sections that recount life events, often painful to hear, in unreserved sentiment.
Originality: Macdonald's dedication to opening the past and sifting through its contents is admirable; she allows herself significant vulnerability, sharing even the most tender moments with readers.
Character/Execution: Macdonald 's innermost thoughts and feelings are on display throughout, gifting readers an intimate window into her life and a clear understanding of her perspective during pivotal moments.
Date Submitted: October 09, 2023
LOS ANGELES — This Women’s History Month, Christine Macdonald recounts her real-life triumph over tragedy in her new, riveting, raw, (and often hilarious) memoir, Face Value: From Working the Pole to Baring My Soul, published by Wordeee (wordeee.com).
Face Value takes us back to ‘70s Waikiki-through the ‘80s, ‘90s and today-where readers are given a VIP seat beyond the coconuts and palm trees of Hawaiʻi, to a rare look at life on the darker side of paradise. We cannot help but get swept up in this underground world of sex work, drug deals and so much more.
Through the pain of Macdonald’s adolescence, compounded by a rare skin disease that left her face permanently disfigured, readers will learn how her darkest moments, which include childhood neglect, sexual assault, bullying, substance abuse, and mental illness lead her to a near decade-long career in sex work: performing nude in various gentlemen’s clubs on the stages in Waikiki, and the infamous Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California.
This deeply personal story, which the author weaves effortlessly, a delicate balance of humor and insight, will move and entertain readers to the point of tears through laughter. They will see just how far people will go to find their self-worth, while ultimately embracing the knowledge that true beauty comes from within.
“The most important message in my story is that we don’t need to play with the cards some of us are dealt as children. We can simply toss the deck and start over with new, healthier tools”, says Macdonald. “Many of us spend lifetimes seeking validation, but it is something we will never receive until we find it within ourselves.”
Macdonald says that sharing her journey gives purpose to the pain she’s suffered and emphasizes you don’t have to be a stripper, abuse survivor, or drug addict to relate to her story. The underlying messages will resonate with all readers in varying stages of their lives.
“Everyone has a past, and we’re all in recovery from something,” says Macdonald. “I hope anyone reading my book who thinks they are stuck in a similar world, will find that positive and loving inner voice and cheerleader inside them as I have.”
Face Value has earned early praise from Piper Kerman, author of the New York Times Bestseller, Orange is the New Black.
“Christine Macdonald looks back on rough roads traveled with intimate emotion, clear-eyed distance and above all, a strong, open, and hilarious heart. Hers is a page-turning story you will never forget,” Kerman writes.
"Nothing is more uplifting than hearing the story of one who has faced devastating life’s challenges and still knows how to smile. Face Value is a gem and a gift," states Marva Allen, CEO of Wordeee.