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Fierce: A Memoir
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Fierce: A Memoir

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  229 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
From the award-winning author of Change Me into Zeus's Daughter comes this compelling memoir about a single mother determined to break the patterns that she has been taught.

Barbara Robinette Moss grew up in the red clay hills of Alabama, the fourth of eight children, in a childhood defined by close sibling alliances, staggering poverty, and uncommon abuse at the hands of

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 19th 2004 by Scribner (first published September 21st 2004)
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Dec 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
The second memoir by this author. Her Turn me Into Zeus's Daughter was a 5 star book.

"Jason gets angry when I talk about inherited sins. "What kind of God punishes children for the sins of the father?"
But God isn't doing the punishing. The fact is, we lived so close, breathed in our parents' insanity, we became infected. God isn't saying, I'm going to punish you because your father was a crazy alcoholic who shot himself in the head. God is saying, you will suffer because your father was a crazy
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was able to review this book for our newspaper when it came out and was privileged to know a bit more of the backstory, having heard Moss speak. I found this book even more gripping than the first memoir, as it gave kind of a "rest of the story" completeness to the first. This almost felt more raw than the first.
Sue Rowland
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Zany, intense, and quirky artist's memoir. Wow. See how a child breaks out of dysfunctional family patterns. I read non-fiction almost exclusively. This one won't disappoint if you are interested in memoir and survival. Great regional descriptions-from Alabama to Iowa.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Zoe Levine
Well worth reading following "Change Me into Zeus's Daughter". Together they present as complete a picture as possible of Barbara Robinette Moss's life story, as she tragically died of cancer just five years after this book was published. She had been working on a third book about her mother and grandmother. Although her stories are often tragic and heartbreaking, she clearly communicates the importance of love, overcoming hardship and never giving up on your dreams.
Caroline Lalonde
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life when I was sixteen I'm twenty four now. It's my favourite book and probably always will be. Definitely you must read this book, has a big impact.
Hot Cup O'Monkey
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow...this was indeed fierce.

I can only admire Ms. Moss for this beautifully written memoir of how her extremely turbulent childhood affected her adult relationships with men and how she finally was able to break her addiction to unstable, pain-filled relationships. I also admire her for apparently being an excellent mother to her son, although they had to go on food stamps while Ms. Moss struggled to get her art degree. (I was incredulous at how downright mean her neighbors were--the postman wh
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Mar 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I haven't read Moss' previous memoir, Change Me Into Zeus's Daughter, which apparently provides more back story about her childhood and is more highly acclaimed than this follow-up work. Fierce does stand alone, however, and you needn't read the first to appreciate the second. Even though her life circumstances could lead many people to self pity, Moss never goes there and keeps the tone matter-of-fact. Several events are memorable. (I appreciated the garbage can story. For many readers, the nei ...more
Megan Pleasant
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1970s
I read Moss' first book, Change Me Into Zeus's Daughter, several years ago. It has since become one of my favorite books, and I longed to read this one since I finished the first. I have only just been able to get my hands on a copy.

Fierce gives great insight on what it is like to live in the aftermath of an abusive childhood. I admire Moss' will and the way she was able to raise her son after having such a dysfunctional childhood herself. It felt awful to see her falling into the same patterns
Helen Kemper
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fierce, a memoir written by Barbara Robinette Moss is a very well written description of strength, integrity, and bravery in the pursuit of life. From a childhood of abuse and poverty, Moss had to learn to become independent and strong in the face of trouble. She grew up to find herself in troubling relationships and addiction for people who hurt her. With the help of her family and the realization that she must stay strong to take care of her son, Moss had no choice but to stand up for herself. ...more
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Megan Bradshaw
Shelves: 2009
This is the authors second book about her life as a girl from a poor family with an alcoholic father in Alabama. It is really interesting to read and even though I've never been poor or really known anyone who drinks, I found myslef strangely relating to a lot of the things she says. It is all true and was a fast and touching read.
Dec 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
I'm not even sure what to say about this book. A memoir about a single mother who works to over come her childhood and the trauma placed upon her by having an abusive, alcoholic father.

I haven't read her first memoir but I think I'm going to try and find a copy. It's a quick read and the author is very honest about her issues and her own pattern of destructive behavior in the men she choses.
Paula Shulse
That was a quick, satisfying read. I found the story line interesting. It explained some questions I've had about people who have lived with an alcoholic parent and the long term affects that it has on the lives of the kids who grew up in that environment.

I recommend this book.
Dec 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
Well-written to the point quick-read memoir is a must-read for alcoholics and anyone raised by and/or living with an alcoholic. Must-read by those raised in an angry household and/or those in adult relationships with others that are angry, very angry.
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Moss is the finest author; I wish she'd written more than the two books. Reading her, your heart breaks, but she never feels sorry for herself. This book wasn't long enough. I wanted it to go on for a 1,000 pages!
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Many sections were well written, but over all the worK does not hold together. The chapters do not flow together, and while the intent may have been to write short stories the effect was ragged and uneven.
Nathan Timmel
Nov 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Neither great nor horrible; she could have gone through and compartmentalized repeated tales, instead of rehashing them every few pages, but oh well.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it
a little hard to read--heartbreak and dysfunction squared. It's the overcoming that redeems this memoir. This woman has been through a lot.
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved the way she overcame!
Apr 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Heartfelt memior on her life eith an alcoholic. father, living in poverty most of her life
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
This was a memoir about a woman fighting her inner demons as a result of her upbringing. Her father was an alcoholic, they were poor and there were 7 kids. She always chose unstable & abusive men.
Connie Becerra
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved this real life story of Barbara and her family.
Richard Jespers
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great memoir. Prose is deceptively simple. The complexity, in fact, is inherent in the simplicity within the fabric of the work—exactly what we all wish to accomplish in writing a memoir.
Holly Diaz
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this book quite a few years ago, touching memoir of the obstacles single mothers and troubled families struggle with everyday.
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent look into the life of a woman who has overcome abuse, family alcoholism, poverty, and the struggles of being a single parent... Well written.
April Ross
rated it liked it
Dec 20, 2014
Valerie Ruiz
rated it it was ok
Oct 29, 2011
rated it liked it
Jul 12, 2017
rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2011
Peggy Townsend
rated it really liked it
Dec 14, 2011
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