No Fury Like That
No Fury Like That is a literary thriller about life and death--and the power of second chances. What is your moral compass? Julia Redner has to die in order to find her answer to this question--but is she really dead or is she being given the opportunity to rethink her life while ... Read more
No Fury Like That is a literary thriller about life and death--and the power of second chances. What is your moral compass? Julia Redner has to die in order to find her answer to this question--but is she really dead or is she being given the opportunity to rethink her life while solving an intricate puzzle of murders? And she does not miss the opportunity to exact righteous revenge! With an unforgettable cast of characters, a surprising plot with twists and turns, and a powerful, determined female protagonist, the novel takes you on a fast-paced, funny, adventurous ride, exploring themes of love, friendship, revenge and family--and the transformation of character in impossible circumstances. Ultimately, No Fury Like That is about metamorphosis, and how friendship is more important than success, love is more important than money, and family is more important than power.
Lisa de Nikolits
Lisa de Nikolits has been hailed as "the Queen of Canadian speculative fiction" (All Lit Up) and is the international award-winning author of eleven novels. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in various international anthologies and journals. Lisa has appeared on recommended reading lists for both Open Book Toronto and the 49th Shelf, as well as being chosen as a Chatelaine Editor’s Pick and a Canadian Living Magazine Must Read. Her novel The Occult Persuasion and The Anarchist’s Solution, was longlisted for a Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of The Fantastic. The Rage Room (2020), was a finalist in the International Book Awards. She has lived in Canada since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia, and Britain. www.lisawriter.com
"Settling in? Great! So, Julia, what do you think brings you here?"
I look at him. "What do you mean?" I slur, fearful that an obscenity will fly out if I open my mouth any wider.
"To Purgatory. Why not Hell? Why not Heaven? Why to this place of in-between? You don't strike me as an in-betweener. "
"I'm not," I mumble. "I don't know what I'm doing here. "
"Hmmm. " He is seated in a grey wingback chair, wearing his beige corduroy trousers and his expression is earnest. His close-set eyes peer at me, his hands are clasped and his feathers are aflutter. "You don't remember anything before you achieved consciousness in Purgatory?"
I shake my head. "Where's my husband?" I ask.
Cedar shakes his head. "I can't tell you. "
"But you do know. "
He nods. "But it's vital that you remember on your own. I can't impede your progress. " He falls silent and leans back in his chair, his hands steepled in prayer.
"How about we do a little exercise?" he asks. "I'm going to encourage you to open your mind, close your eyes, and listen to my breathing guidance. Can you do that?"
I nod, still not trusting myself to say anything.
"Close your eyes, breathe in for the count of five. Hold for five and out for five. I'll guide you. "
We do this for a while and I start to feel sleepy.
"What do you remember, Julia?" he asks softly. "Before you came here, what do you remember? Were you making a cup of tea? Were you on the telephone to your mother? Were you stroking your kitty cat?"
My eyes fly open. Cat? "I had a cat?"
"Concentrate, Julia. Let's start again. "
I sigh. In for five, hold, out for five.
The image of a cat comes to my mind. I see a large, incredibly grumpy, beautifully ugly cat with a squashed face and a pug nose. An immensely hairy, immensely fat, immensely angry cat. I can't keep my eyes shut. "Cat. Oh. "
I get up and pace around the room.
Cedar doesn't say anything, he just watches me.
I fold my arms across my chest. "Yes," I say. "A cat. "
Before I can stop myself, tears are pouring down my face.
"Lady Marmalade. But I called him Duchess. He was my baby. My joy. I got him from a pet store. I swore I'd never buy from them, such a rip-off, you know, and pet store animals are all demented or deformed in some way. Too much inbreeding or something or they keep them in cages too long. But I was in a mall and I walked past him and he meowed at me and I stopped and I couldn't help myself. I got them to take him out of his cage and he climbed up my shirt, and I paid two thousand dollars for a kitten, right then and there. "
By now, my nose is running and Cedar gets up and hands me a box of Kleenex.
I grab a fistful, blow my nose and continue.
"But he was demented, of course he was. He peed everywhere. He'd go right in front of me, on the carpets. He'd saunter into the room, give me a filthy look, and pee. But what could I do? I loved him. So I cleaned up after him or, I tried to. He peed in places I couldn't find until I discovered wiring and cables had been eaten away by his puddles. He could have started a fire or something. "
"I took him to the vet, and we put him on drugs and they helped, we drugged the shit, oh sorry Cedar--" I look at him, my face wet with tears and I stand there, waiting to be bounced out the room but Cedar just nods and I carry on.
"And it helped, it lessened the problem. And he was my baby, my buddy, my friend, for nine and a half years, and then he got sick; his liver started to give out. I tried everything. I took him to homeopathy. I must have spent thousands of dollars on him, maybe even tens of thousands, I'm not exaggerating, but in the end, oh, in the end, nothing helped. "
I sink down next to Cedar, sobbing. I am shaking and howling in a way I've never cried before. "He died. I held him and he died. His heavy, grumpy, angry body just gave out. One minute he was purring, and the next, he left me. He got light as a feather and I didn't know where his weight went, but I knew it was his anger and it was gone. And his anger was like my anger, and my anger is what grounds me. Without it, I too would be nothing and I'd float away, and I still miss him so much. "
I am wailing and Cedar is rubbing my back like I'm a baby and I don't care. Snot runs down my face and I cry like my heart is broken. And just when I think I can't cry any more, I start all over again, wailing that ungodly sound and Cedar sits there patiently, rubbing me.
Finally, I get to hiccupping. "I loved him so much," I say. "There wasn't a day I didn't miss him. I had him cremated and I have an urn and I talk to him every day. I ask him why he left me. I know that sounds stupid but I do. I talk to him every day, so if you're asking me if I was talking to my kitty cat before I came here, yes, I most likely was. He was the only friend I could rely on in this world. "
"But he left you," Cedar points out.
"He did," I wail. "Why? He wasn't even ten years old. Didn't he love me? Didn't I make him happy? I tried so hard. "
I start to cry again.
"This is excellent progress," Cedar says and hands me the box of Kleenex. I blow my nose again. I am exhausted.
"We've done enough for the day. What you should do now," Cedar says kindly, "is have a lie-down in the Rest Room. Would you like me to walk you there?"
I nod. "Yes, please. "
I get up and touch my swollen face. "I don't want anybody to see me like this," I say, and Cedar laughs.
"You are so concerned with all the wrong things. But don't worry, we won't bump into anyone. I can arrange that. "
I don't ask him what he means. I let him lead me down the corridor, past several doors until he finally opens the door to the Rest Room. He guides me through the foyer and into an enclosed circled curtain and I lie down and he rubs my back.
I start crying again. And this time, I am not even sure what for.
"Imagine if characters from The Devil Wears Prada got trapped in Sartre's play No Exit, where "hell is other people. " No Fury Like That uses the lens of female souls stuck in purgatory to examine loss, love, rage, angst, and what there really is to live for. Alternately funny, melancholy, philosophical, and raunchy, it's a wild ride and another gutsy novel from de Nikolits. "
-- John Oughton, author of Death by Triangulation
"Suspenseful, surprising, thrilling and at times laugh-out-loud funny, No Fury Like That takes you on page-turning ride into another world--with Lisa de Nikolits's skillful writing keeping you belted in. "
--Jacqueline Kovacs, Magazine Editor, Metroland Media
"In No Fury Like That, Lisa de Nikolits gives us a version of purgatory that, while a little less grievous than Bosch's work , is no less captivating. "
"it's easy to see the influence of female empowerment and encouragement in this refreshing read. "