I’m kicking off my reviews this week with an Aussie title that was very difficult to get ahold of. In fact, my lovely friend, Liss, was the one to snag me a copy from an Australian bookstore (she lives in Sydney), and she sent it to me in exchange for some bottles of lotion from Bath & Body Works. I have been dying to read this book ever since it arrived at my house, and was so pleased to be able to squeeze it in. While it’s not a Greek Mythology telling in the same way as the others I’ll be reviewing this week, it definitely gives a nod to the Greek myths of the Furies. And now, on to my first review of Mythology Week!
Let me tell you my story.
Not just the facts I know you want to hear.
If I’m going to tell you my story,
I’m telling it my way.
Strap yourself in…
Eliza Boans has everything.
A big house.
A great education.
A bright future.
So why is she sitting in a police station confessing to murder?
Fury by Shirley Marr is not your typical Greek Mythology retelling. In fact, it doesn’t become apparent until close to the end how exactly the Furies – which are vaguely mentioned early on in the story – even play a role in this book at all. What you get for most of the story instead, is a very angry main character by the name of Eliza, and her circle of friends: extraordinarily smart Marianne, beautiful and sweet Lexi, and new-girl Ella. The book is told in a mix of past and present, with Eliza recounting how she came to be arrested and charged with murder – of whom, you don’t find out until close to the end. In fact, all of the flashbacks she’s sharing with Dr. Fadden are sort of piecemeal, and don’t make a cohesive unit until probably midway through the book, which the trigger for the girls’ actions is finally explained.
When we think of mythology retellings, we assume we’ll see some sort of godly interference, or perhaps a cameo by a character from the myths. That’s not at all what you get in Fury. Instead, the story details the way Eliza and her friends went from your average rich girls to a sort of avenging angel – or Fury – wanting retribution for a crime that was committed against one of them. Once everything comes together, the story you get is poignant and thought-provoking, and while I initially was interested because of the tie-in to the Greek mythos, what struck me most while reading was Eliza’s journey from someone who was unapologetic, spoiled, and mean, to someone I really felt bad for.
When I think hard about it, I find that I … actually don’t like many people. I must be such an angry person. (pg. 178)
Reading Fury was strange for me, because for much of the book I really didn’t like Eliza at all. Even though she called Marianne and Lexi her friends, she didn’t really treat them as I would treat someone I professed to care about, Marianne in particular. There was a definite “mean girl” vibe to this book, and it wasn’t limited to the three main girls. Likewise, there are a number of issues that the characters are dealing with, from divorced and absent parents, to unresolved crushes, to wanting to fit in, and that’s not even mentioning the incident that really kicks this book off (apologies for being vague, but I don’t want to spoil!). I also really wish we’d gotten to see more of Neil, as I found him rather fascinating and really wish I could have had more to read about him, as I came away with a few unresolved questions. The ending, too, was likewise ambiguous; you don’t really know how things are going to turn out for Eliza or her friends, but I’m thinking that may have been the point. Considering what they’re facing, a nicely tied-up ending wouldn’t have been remotely realistic.
While not being your typical mythology retelling, Fury managed to grab me nonetheless, and didn’t let go until I’d finished the book, almost in one sitting. I found myself thoroughly engrossed in Eliza’s story, even if she herself took a while to grow on me. The book is told in the form of a mystery, with the reader not entirely knowing what’s happening until everything is finally revealed by Eliza herself. While Fury is unfortunately not available in the US, I’d definitely recommend making use of Fishpond to get yourself a copy; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a Greek Mythology-themed book of your choice!