Fury, by Shirley Marr

My name is Eliza Boans and I am a murderer.
I know. It’s pretty shocking, huh?
To think I actually had a better surname before my parents divorced and my mother went back to her maiden name, taking me kicking and screaming with her. See, the judge gave Dad the Jag and gave Mum, well, me. She spewed big time over that. But seriously, unlike what that do-gooder Chaplain here thinks, I didn’t just wake up one morning and say to myself, “what a lovely day, I think I might go out and kill someone.”

Eliza Boans is 16 and in her last year of school. She’s pretty, rich, has a father she’s not seen for a decade and a famous lawyer mother she seldom sees. Oh, and she’s sitting in a police station, accused of murder. Eliza is cool and angry, in control and naïve all at the same time. Eliza introduces the reader to the wealth and privilege of her home and school and the neighbourhood. When new girl Ella arrives at the school, Eliza befriends her, despite the reservations of her two best friends Lexi and Marianne, and partly to annoy the ‘two Jane Blondes’. Eliza is outspoken and her actions earn herself detention in the canteen (although she often feels misjudged). Then there is the party.

Fury brings to mind a wind, slowly gathering intensity until it is a maelstrom. Eliza is an unreliable narrator, wearing a protective veneer so strong it seems unbreakable. She talks smart, and keeps most people away with her acid tongue and toughness. Initially she is not particularly likeable as a character, but as the story progresses, reasons for this unfold. When she is charged with murder, she refuses all help and pushes away her mother, her mother’s lawyer, her friends. Only one person, the police anthropologist, has any measure of her trust. Slowly, he supports her until she is ready to tell the story that may free her, may incriminate her. Shirley Marr takes the reader inside the world of wealth and privilege and shows that not all is shiny. Themes include friendship, family, safety and independence. Fury is for mature readers in middle secondary years.

Fury, Shirley Marr
Black Dog Books 2010
ISBN: 9781742031323 review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond.