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Fear of Fighting 

Stacey May Fowles

Fear of Fighting
Stacey May Fowles
(Invisible Publishing)
The prologue to Stacey May Fowles' new novel starts with the prophetic line, "There are lots of songs that have been written about girls." The same could be said about novels that explore devastating relationship break-ups---the subject of Fear of Fighting. And yet, we'll never get sick of writing or reading about the subject because, let's face it, we all experience the humiliation and spiritual bruising that comes with being dumped. If not, you're lying to yourself, or you're a cat. Marnie spends every moment painfully analyzing the love and loss of cheatin' Ben, to the point where an undiagnosed anxiety disorder takes over. Through her myopic view, even "the urban grocery store is a carnival of loneliness" and wallpaper becomes a symbol of lovers. Fowles' writing is poetic yet simple, and even her frequent pop culture references are applied with a graceful, light hand. Marlena Zuber's illustrations are more like the doodles and unlike some other graphic novels, where images help carry the story along, Zuber's drawings synthesize the day-to-day minutae of Marnie's internal world with humour, heartache and guts. Although there are no surprises until the dog-gone ending, Fear of Fighting is a worthy, relatable read.
--Sue Carter Flinn
type: book

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