Novel: Fierce Mind
Author: Suzanne Perazzini
General rating: 4.5/5
Fourteen year old Ellie makes a friend. Uncommonly, her friend is a 51 year old gravedigger, Fenton, whom she meets only at night. As their friendship blooms through those nightly discussions, they exchange secrets that eventually make up Suzanne Perazzini’s novel “Fierce Mind”. The title does the book justice – both characters do have a stunning intelligence. While Ellie’s is more of an intellectual intelligence, Fenton displays an emotional intelligence that made me grow fond of him. The father-figure aspect of his character is well developed, and the ending makes him justice in this sense.
I quite enjoyed Ellie’s fun facts and quotes through the novel. I became accustomed to the repetitive structure of their meetings and found myself unable to close the book. I’d always tell myself that I would just start the chapter in order to read that upcoming fun fact or quote, but then I’d finish the chapter, only to start the cycle once more. I’ve barely put it down.
The tone was interesting. It did take me a while to get into the story because of the heavy use of dialogue and little use of description. Be patient, readers, and the style will grow on you. It reminded me a bit of Samuel Beckett’s style, if he was a woman and wrote YA novels. This story can definitely show how far an author can go with only dialogue. I imagine Perazzini’s goal was to provide as little description as possible since their story is developed in the darkness and silence of the cemetery, but I did miss the description. Every character felt a bit faceless to me.
I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to not only its intended audience, but also to individuals in their twenties and thirties. The language is not heavy, but the subject matter becomes quite philosophical at times.
Last, but not least, I would like to thank Aspendawn Books, as well as Netgalley, for the free copy of this book to review.