Koren Zailckas, author of the best-selling memoir Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood, has written another memoir, Fury. This one is all about anger and family. The ties that bind in some if not all families. Here in this second book Zailckas starts off with the idea of writing a book on the history of anger, particularly Anglo-Saxon anger. Over time she realizes that she cannot write a book about anger when she herself has such a hard time expressing this particular emotion.
I read Zailckas first book, Smashed and loved it. As a child of the same generation and a product of it as well I easily identified with the emotions, time frame and obstacles that she deals with throughout the book. While I may not have abused alcohol to that extreme it was a very truthful, telling book for my generation. Once again I find myself identifying with Zailckas in Fury. An only child with anger issues myself I learned so much from her historical points on anger as well as the theories that surround this strong emotion. She delves into Tonglen, yoga, homeopathy and the psychiatric field as she writes this book, which gives Fury its wide array of knowledge on the subject of anger. As Koren worked through her issues with herself and her family I saw a lot of me being mirrored back and it was not always pleasant. By reading Fury I became more aware of how I interact with my own children, particularly my eldest daughter and it was eye-opening. Her personal insights are not just brave and smart but amazing as well.
"It occurs to me that, just as she's wanted to strap a muzzle on my feelings, I haven't really wanted to experience hers. Most of my life I've avoided being honest with my mother for fear that it would ignite her own explosive emotions. I'm guilty of the exact same crimes I've charged her with... If I was looking for proof that she cared, it was right there in her anxieties about me... Like so many people in the world, her way of loving focused on training. Her affection had been there every time she said 'don't.'"
As a mother, daughter and individual I saw a lot of myself in Koren and her book Fury. I walked away from it with a lightening in my spirit and self that I hadn't anticipated from a book called, Fury. It is a brilliant read just like Smashed that I highly recommend.
MPR Rating: Four Stars.
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