BOOK REVIEW:Fury by Kathryn Heyman

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

No matter how far she travels as she hitchhikes across Australia, she can't outrun the stigma or the memories that haunt her. Sharp, sassy and determined not to be broken, she accepts a job as a cook on a fishing boat. Totally inexperienced, both as a sailor and a chef, a girl among tough working men and literally all at sea, Kacey confronts more than just the elements on the journey that follows. Facing a ferocious storm as well as treachery, she learns how to fashion a new story for herself-one in which she is strong enough to be the hero. These are captivating memories of growing up in Australia, and the tribulations Heyman encounters and escapes. Unsentimental and unflinching, she stares down disaster and looks back with a healthy rage and exhilarating intelligence.

My Thoughts:

I was on a panel with Kathryn Heyman at the Bellingen Writers & Readers Festival, and heard her read a passage from her new memoir, Fury. I bought it straightwaway – the excerpt she read was so full of power and grace and beauty, and felt so relevant for the times in which we live, that I knew I had to read it. 

Fury is an incredibly powerful & moving memoir of Kathryn’s survival & recovery after an traumatic assault, and the subsequent struggle to see her attacker charged & punished. The sections detailing the assault and the trial are confronting & heartbreaking, as are many of her other memories from her childhood growing up in a world in which sexism and sexual violence is so endemic. These scenes cut very close to home – some happened to me or to women whom I love. It’s a clarion call for change in our world, and a book I hope many will read for that reason.

But it is also a story of survival, recovery, and redemption, and a beautiful paean to the ocean & its wild power to heal and transform us. The writing is glorious, the structure intricate and cleverly constructed, and the story so intimate and vulnerable, it made me weep. One of my best reads of the year so far.  

You might also like to read my review Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters by Laura Thompson:

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