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The Furies

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780733643071

Price: £14.99

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‘beautiful and lyrical’ The Conversation

Cynthia was just about to turn sixteen when the unthinkable happened. Her mother was taken away by the police, and her father left without a word three months later. After that night, Cynthia began to walk in slow circles outside the family home looking for traces of her sister Mallory – she’s sure that she must be somewhere else now, wherever that is.

Cynthia knows that she doesn’t belong here. Her mother never belonged here either. This is the place of violence. Despair. The long dry. Blood caked under the nails. Desperate men. Long silences. The place where mothers go mad in locked bedrooms, where women like Cynthia imagine better futures.

As a threatening wind begins to dry-whirl around her, seldom seen black clouds form above, roll over the golden-brown land – is that Mallory she can hear in the growling mass? In the harsh drought-stricken landscape of outback Queensland a woman can be lost in so many ways. The question is, will Cynthia be one of them?

Defiant, ferocious and unyielding – The Furies is a debut novel by Mandy Beaumont that explores the isolation felt by so many women, and how powerful we can be when we join together. It puts her firmly on the literary map, blazing forth from the terrain of Charlotte Wood, Margaret Atwood and Carmen Maria Machado, with a unique and breathtaking power.

‘Expect this debut novel to collect a swag of awards’ Courier Mail

‘a rallying cry . . . vivid, visceral, ferocious’ Carmel Bird, The Age

‘stays with you . . . Beaumont’s prose shines’ The Saturday Paper

The Furies is unapologetically feminist in its preoccupations’ The Conversation

‘Mandy Beaumont . . . firmly places herself in the same league as Australian contemporaries such as Charlotte Wood, Sophie Laguna and Hannah Kent. As beautiful as it is gut-wrenching, this is a debut that pulls no punches’ Newcastle Herald

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Reviews

A woman in a small Australian town is haunted. Death is all around her: she is still grieving her murdered sister, Mallory, while the spectre of her mother's arrest and father's abandonment hover over her. A baby she was reluctant to carry arrives as a stillborn. Her husband, Simon, deserts her. The townsfolk don't allow her to properly mourn, as gossip and malicious judgement encircles her in the abattoir where she works. In Mandy Beaumont's second book of fiction, The Furies, the reader is confronted with a maelstrom of grief. Structured in three parts, the book is narrated by the protagonist, Cynthia, with occasional chapters voiced by her mother. Cynthia's past and present are shadowed by Mallory's disappearance and the misdemeanours perpetrated by Simon, Cynthia's father and the various men around her. The Furies is an ambitious debut novel; Beaumont's attempt at a dreamlike stylism (think Olivia Sudjic) sometimes misses the mark, coming across as overwrought as sentences end in conjunctions and verbs. Nonetheless, this is an introspective book that will resonate with readers of literary thriller-esque fiction such as The Airways by Jennifer Mills or Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down. A fiercely feminist novel, The Furies is an interrogation of the scars left by unaddressed trauma, on bodies, psyches and the land. What does it mean to carry so much, and to yearn for revenge? How does it feel to hurt and be hurt?
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