Francis explains that, after the war ended, he returned to Frenchtown, an area in Monument, his hometown, without a face. The war had left him seriously disfigured and surgeries were required to try and fix some of the damage but he still lacks a nose. He also explains how he goes about concealing his wounds.
He uses a Red Sox hat to shroud his eyes and a scarf to cover his face and missing nose. He also makes sure to wear his fatigues in order to let others know of his service and the reason for his wounds.
Francis rents a room of Mrs. Belander’s. She doesn’t recognise him despite the fact that he used to do chores for her as a youth. He also spends time in the local church, St. Jude, where he used to be an altar boy, and he prays often. He prays for his parents, who have died, Enrico Rucelli (a friend he made whilst in the war hospital), others, and also Larry LaSalle, the man who he hopes to murder.
Francis thinks back to his times in the hospital. He remembers Enrico and his jokes about how he should look into seducing a woman at a home for the blind, as they wouldn’t be discouraged by his disfigurement, and to ditch his pining for a woman named Nicole, who is from Monument as well. He also thinks of Dr. Abrams and his promises to reconstruct his face after the war in a private practice surgery.
Francis also recalls how he dismissed Enrico’s jokey suggestions, claiming to not be able to get over Nicole.
Heroes is a 1998 novel written by Robert Cormier. The novel is centred on the character Francis Cassavant, who has just returned to his childhood home of Frenchtown, Monument, from serving in the Second World War in France and has severe deformities as a result of an incident during the war. The structure of the novel involves the use of flashbacks to Francis’s childhood in Frenchtown and the events in Frenchtown following the war, when Francis returns.