The Furies was shortlisted for the 2022 Queensland Literary Awards – Fiction and is the debut novel from Mandy Beaumont, a Melbourne based writer and academic.
As my 'read harder' challenge continues to focus on Australian debut authors this fit perfectly with my focus and what a novel it is. Containing elements of paranormal, gothic horror and contemporary trauma for women this novel asks a lot from the reader.
Cynthia (Cyn) an abused young woman working in an abattoir in outback Queensland suffering from the grief of losing a younger sister in terrible circumstances which has left her alone, fending for herself at 16. The traumatic circumstances are slowly revealed throughout the book as we live Cyn’s life, as she loses her own child, abused by her partner and by the men around her. What Cyn wonders is the collective noun for the group of men around a toilet block who seethe with menace to a girl alone?
Cyn’s story is drenched in pain and her seemingly powerless anger at the violence she is subjected to – violence that is not only physical, but emotional. So why read it? It is about the power women can have by coming together and supporting each other, it is about women who eventually revolt and it does beautifully articulate the clash of underlying rage of women who are abused and the class conditioned acceptance that women are taught to bear, in life, at work and within your own family.