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September book of the month: Fierce by Gin Phillips. Read ahead of the author webchat on 26 September, 9pm

(72 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Sep-18 16:14:56

Our September book of the month is Fierce by Gin Phillips. It's been described by bookclub blogger Max and Mummy as "a small but mighty book that will leave you holding your breath as the story unfolds".

Joan and her four year old son Lincoln are about to head home after a trip to their local zoo. On their way to the exit Joan is stopped in her path by an unsettling noise in the distance. She immediately senses that all is not as it should be. What follows is an examination of their movements over the next three hours within the confines of the zoo.

As Joan races to protect Lincoln from imminent and very real danger, she is confronted by the every day needs of her young son; loo stops, hunger pangs and his inability to stay quiet, even at the most crucial moment.

This is a nail-biting, fast paced novel that will make you question how would you respond if you were no longer able to protect your child from danger. As Joan responds to what unfolds, the novel examines our animal instinct and the ferocity of maternal love.

Find out what our bloggers thought and read an extract of Fierce, then buy a copy and join us in reading ahead of the webchat with author Gin Phillips on this thread on Wednesday 26 September, 9pm.

littlerose12345 Thu 06-Sep-18 13:40:50

Looking forward to the webchat!

Jenniferturkington Wed 19-Sep-18 15:38:37

Just read this very quickly. Looking forward to the we chat now!

anonymousbird Wed 19-Sep-18 15:46:31

Just about to start this on audiobook.

Skyejuly Sun 23-Sep-18 07:07:38

I just finished this.

Ledkr Sun 23-Sep-18 08:57:12

I've just finished this in two days and loved it.

FernieB Mon 24-Sep-18 17:37:24

Thanks Mumsnet for my copy of the book. I read it in one sitting. The premise is excellent and the difficult choices Joan had to make to protect her child kept me gripped.

I would have liked to have heard more from the gunmen as their interaction was intriguing and also from Kailynn and Mrs Powell who are introduced early and then rarely seen. I also would have liked to know what happened to the baby and it's mother - and in the days after how did Joan feel about the decisions she made. Presumably there would have been a lot of guilt on her part.

It's definitely written as though it's a screenplay - it's so visual. Has it been picked up for filming yet? If so, who would Gin like to play Joan?

MamaCBear Tue 25-Sep-18 12:07:11

Wow! Loved this book! Wasn't sure I would get it read in time for the chat but once I started I couldn't put it down, completely gripped. I guess this situation is sadly becoming more of a reality these days, did you imagine that Joan survived at the end of the story or not? I wasn't sure which way that might go. Also, did you ever consider writing a chapter from Paul's perspective, on the outside?

Skyejuly Tue 25-Sep-18 17:22:17

I really wish we heard from the babys mother.

miketv Tue 25-Sep-18 21:37:32

Wow - what a read! I couldn't put it down.

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Wed 26-Sep-18 08:51:15

Was the story inspired by a real experience? I mean obviously you (I hope) have never encountered a gunman. But the feeling of needing to protect your child.

miketv Wed 26-Sep-18 11:09:00

Is there is link to the web chat or is it on here?

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Wed 26-Sep-18 11:18:40

miketv it's on this thread. You can post your question(s)/comments in advance if you'd like. Or wait and post live. Once the web chat starts the author will answer questions on the thread smile

mom2010 Wed 26-Sep-18 14:18:05

Thanks for introducing Gin Phillips to me. I enjoyed the book and hope to ask this question on the webschat.
My question is: "Your story makes a statement about the terrifying times we live in. How strongly do you feel about it?"

starlight36 Wed 26-Sep-18 17:29:18

Hi Gin,
I read this very quickly, far quicker tan I normally read novels as I found myself continuing to read long after I should have stopped and got on with some work I needed to do! I felt a real sense of urgency in needing to find out what happened to Joan and Lincoln. My question is about the writing process. How long did it take you to write the novel? Did you have a firm plan of how the events were going to unfold or did it evolve during the writing process?

MakemineaGandT Wed 26-Sep-18 19:59:32

Hi Gin - I really enjoyed your book - I found the pace and detail of Joan’s thoughts very convincing and of course it would be everyone’s worst nightmare to be in her shoes which makes for compelling reading!
My question is - have you experienced any criticism in America for your statement “They sound like young, obnoxious white men - aren’t they always young white men?”? Of course you are right, statistically, and there have been a lot of real life events (sadly) which you must have drawn inspiration from. However, the pro-gun lobby in America doesn’t seem keen to address this!

miketv Wed 26-Sep-18 20:07:33

I'm another one who couldn't put this book down!
I thought for a little while that there was only going to be one shooter, pretending to be other people (a bit like fight club!).

How do you think people find likeminded friends to go on killing sprees with?

Jenniferturkington Wed 26-Sep-18 20:16:30

Did the mother and baby get reunited?

I get that Joan threw the phone as a decoy, however this was the bit I found hardest to believe. In this modern age of social media don’t you think Joan would’ve been frantically checking Twitter to see what was happening?

MakemineaGandT Wed 26-Sep-18 20:21:29

Yes Jenniferturkington I also found the phone throwing bit odd - I was worried the gunmen would pick up the phone and see the message exchange between Joan and her husband, which would lead them to her hiding place!

MamaCBear Wed 26-Sep-18 20:35:45

MakemineaGandT completely agree! I thought they would get discovered from the text messages! Gin, did you consider that happening when you were writing it?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 26-Sep-18 20:58:55

Good evening. It's great to see so many questions in already and that you found the book as pacy and nail-biting as we did. We're delighted that author Gin Phillips is joining us tonight from USA to answer your questions and chat about her novels - and other books. Welcome to Mumsnet Gin. Over to you...

GinPhillips Wed 26-Sep-18 20:59:54

Hi everyone--It's such a pleasure to join you...even if I'm technically in Birmingham, Alabama at the moment.

GinPhillips Wed 26-Sep-18 21:00:27

I've enjoyed reading through all your comments, so let's get started.

FernieB Wed 26-Sep-18 21:00:50

There are Reading Group questions at the back of the book. I'd like to ask if Gin had any input into these questions and what question would she like to ask readers?

GinPhillips Wed 26-Sep-18 21:02:20


It's definitely written as though it's a screenplay - it's so visual. Has it been picked up for filming yet? If so, who would Gin like to play Joan?

FernieB--The film rights have been optioned by Margot Robbie's production company, with the early notions being that she would play Joan. If I could pick anyone, oh, maybe Jennifer Lawrence? Kate Winslet? Rachel Weisz?

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