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Book Review: Faces, Souls, and Painted Crows by Rudi Unterthiner

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Working at a young life in a coalmine in Austria only seemed to build a fire in a young Paul Reiter. Breaking free from a life in the mines and making his way to America to make a different life for himself seemed like a dream until it happened. Even then, fate was determined make difficulties in every way imaginable. However, Paul refused to give up his dream. This is the story of reaching that dream and maybe just a bit more.

In Faces, Souls and Painted Crows, Rudi Unterthiner brings us a story full of challenges and hope. This is his story, and he tells it without apology. He has gone through trying and difficult times, and yet his tenacity in following his heart led him to the education he needed to become the Doctor he became. His life was not easy, and yet persistence and bravado in the face of adversity helped him to build a career that has spanned his lifetime.

A famous cosmetic surgeon, known to many as the phantom, is nonetheless well known in the circles of Hollywood. He is the man behind many of the great cosmetic procedures to both the stars and those willing to pay to look their best. Also known for his work helping those less fortunate in the Baja region and most particularly Puertecitos, the area he visited year after year, helping those most in need.

This is a thoughtful and personal look at a man. One who has questions and made mistakes and yet one who is also revered by those whose lives he touched through the years. A man with flaws he holds nothing back as he explores his life and shares his success and failures. He does not sugarcoat his mistakes, and yet he grows, and like a chameleon he changes to match his surroundings, whether that of the people he surrounds himself with or the areas he brings to life.

As he yearns to make a difference he often chooses for the wrong reasons, but he has an amazing cast of friends that offer sage advice. Many times, it is just the right advice for the issues he is facing. Like most of us, he is human and faces jealousy and fear. Often behind every great man, there is a woman, and from his description, his wife Linda is part of the strength. She is there in spirit even when not in person and is often a catalyst and sounding board for many decisions.

Her strength is a tie that binds, and even through some of the most difficult issues in their marriage, she is able to find the strength deep inside herself to forgive. Not just him but herself as well, something that took Rudi much longer. When you write a book this personal there is nowhere to hide, and yet Rudi seems to find a way to move past the mistakes.

I would recommend this book for reading groups and book clubs. It is well written and open, with no effort to hide or reduce the flaws of someone who is after all human. It is a book of hopes and dreams written with a look at how the actions we take today have a resounding impact on our lives of tomorrow. As sometimes happens in real life, truth is stranger than fiction; you will find this a powerful and emotional journey.

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About Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is an author and blogger in the Northwest.