‘Grace & Fury’ by Tracy Banghart is the ‘Just A Girl’ by No Doubt of the book world.
Synopsis: Serina has been training all her life to become a Grace, a human trophy, an example of the perfect woman. Serina is calm and demure, resigned to her fate for it’s better to accept. Her sister, Nomi, hates the way her sex are treated. In a world where women are only allowed to breed or work in awful factories, Nomi is a fighter and holding her tongue is a difficulty. This rebellious streak catches the Heir’s eye and it is Nomi who he chooses to be one of his Graces. To add insult to injury, her sister Serina is charged with a crime she didn’t commit and is sent to an island to die. Both sisters have their battles but can the women rise up and claim back their strength?
Both sisters had their strengths and weaknesses and both appealed to me. I don’t think I have a favourite sister as I admired the fact they took each other’s advice whilst they were so far apart. Due to their circumstances and distance, I believe they understood each other better by the end of the book and will no doubt be a formidable duo. I liked Serina’s maturity and Nomi’s reluctance to accept her fate. I also liked that they found proper men who bring out those strengths. Not that they need men but I can see them coming in handy later on.
Speaking of men. I liked Malachai to begin with. I tend to gravitate towards the characters who initially seem bristly and standoffish. I found Asa to be too smiley and trusting when it came to Nomi and I was suspicious very early on and that was only strengthened when they came up with their plan. Malachai reminded me a lot of Mr Darcy. I think his feelings are genuine and I hope the actions at the end of this book don’t seal his fate. I would love to see more of him in the sequel.
There’s no outright message to this book but it tells a tale of repression. I was outraged at some of the passages and scenes in this book, and then I became even more angry when I realised it still happens in cultures around the world today. It baffles me that women don’t have the same rights as men. Even in the UK, women are not offered the same opportunities as men even though they may be better qualified. Being a woman myself, I understood Serina and Nomi’s views and opinions much better than a man might. Perhaps that’s why I love this book so much.
It’s not a happy book. It’s not a sad one either. It’s full of anger and I love it. There’s so much sisterhood, both through blood and the relationships made that it’s difficult not to feel a part of the girl power. This is a book I want my daughter to read and if I have a son in the future, I want him to read it too. It was a direct hit to my feminist heart.
“For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet… And who stood up anyway.”
I received this in Fairyloot’s June ‘Rebels in Ballgowns’ box.
You can get it here