Cover Image: Fuse


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Member Reviews

It is a heavy weight to carry when you are biracial and confronting society’s expectations of the ideal woman’s image. The author realizes this aspect of her life since she was a child when there were comparisons made with the standards of beauty prevalent at a particular period.
Growing up with an Iranian father and Canadian mother, is not an easy situation to be in. The traditions of one against the other has an impact on a growing child especially when there is a difference in the treatment given to the author compared to those for her brothers. It was only after she manages to be away from home to continue her studies that she managed to find the breathing space needed.
That was the opportunity to discover which path suits her best. The moment when she can be her own person even if that meant subjecting herself to pain and remorse later. Not exactly a sense of regret but on hindsight, another approach might be more fruitful.
Thankfully, she is now with a loving and understanding partner who tries to see her points of view throughout her struggles with a so many conflicting emotions. Her children have brought forth a different side of her. A side that reflects and ponders the consequences of her actions on those whom she loves.
There are still bad moments, but she is more forgiving towards herself. Many readers could empathize with that.
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Thought-provoking, and visceral. Very hard to read in some places, because so triggering. Admire the author's honesty about her struggles.
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Fuse by Hollay Ghadery absolutely blew me away. Two pages into the foreword and I knew this book was going to be amazing. The elegance and vulnerability of the foreword set the tone for the rest of the book. Fuse is a memoir but it doesn't really read like a traditional memoir. Time is not linear, instead we follow the unravelling of Hollay's thoughts around race, mental illness and motherhood. 

Her words are rich in vulnerability and are full of poetic beauty. Hollay Ghadery explores the documented prevalence of mental health issues in bi-racial women. We also see her own experiences with being bi-racial and how it shaped her ever-evolving sense of identity. Hollay's life hasn't been an easy one - she's lived with and through eating and anxiety disorders, self-harm, OCD, misogyny within her family dynamics, and more. Yet there's a sense of triumph to her tales.

Fuse is personal and touching. It provides a much needed focus on the tensions bi-racial women experience around their bodies and their identities. The subject matter is raw and heavy, and at times it's a hard read, but I know that so many women will feel seen upon reading this book. 

None of my experiences with body image have been as extreme as Hollay's but I spent years hating my body and trying to change it. The first chapter explores Hollay's thoughts on the casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and her experience watching the movie with her young daughter, and it was so easy to step inside Hollay's mind.  Fuse brims with emotions, it's relatable even when describing moments, feelings and experiences that differ greatly from my own. 

Fuse is the kind of book I want to shout about from the rooftops. It was absolutely stunning. It's beautifully written and thought provoking. Yet I know it will be quite triggering to a lot of people. If you're in a good head space though, it's definitely worth a read.
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Fuse is a short, terse memoir written by Hollay Ghadery, who explores the impact that growing up biracial, with a white mother and Iranian father, had on her mental health. This book is tight and intense -- though not many pages long, it packs a huge punch. Ghadery is incredibly vulnerable in the pages of this book, laying bare her history with depression, OCD, and disordered eating, and sharing how growing up in multiple cultures impacted those issues. 

The writing is infinitely readable, although the subject matter can be difficult to swallow at times. Ghadery does not shy away from any topic, openly discussing the challenging life she has lived, including her struggles with motherhood. This is a beautiful piece of work, one that deserves to be read by everyone, especially those with biracial backgrounds and a history of mental health issues. Ghadery's story can be extreme at times, but it is intensely relatable all the same -- many of her anecdotes, especially those related to parenting, left me gasping in self-recognition.

Thank you to NetGalley and MiroLand for the ARC.

Content warnings abound. Ghadery discusses many mental health issues, including OCD, depression, and disordered eating.
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Fuse was phenomenal. Hollay Ghadery is a skillful writer. Her style is both direct and evocative. Most importantly, she is refreshingly vulnerable. As someone living with an anxiety disorder, I was thrilled to see such an honest discussion around mental health struggles. 

Her work resonated with me in a deeper level. I saw my own experiences captured in the page in a way I have never seen before. I found myself constantly thinking "yes, this is what it's like". The negative self-talk, the internal war between what you feel and what you know you should feel, the moments of co-regulation-- all are beautifully illustrated here.

I truly hope this book gets the attention it deserves! It is a wonderful piece of literature.
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This book is not a typical memoir, in that it doesn't tell you the author's life story in sequential order, but in snippets relating to current events in her life. Hollay explores what it means to grow up biracial and bicultural and the affects it has on mental health. She's so raw and open, sometimes painfully so. The way she talks about her parents is very relatable, I think, to all adult children:

"We all shatter differently, breaking away over time or all at once. The anger, pity, love, concern I feel - the mourning - it's not uncommon. We disassemble our parents into pieces we can accept. We all disassemble each other". 

The way she speaks about her children is so beautiful: 

"It's strange how you can't see yourself in your children's impossibly clear eyes, but you are all they see. They grew in you, and it didn't happen all at once, but your body's bottomless pitch let out their surging light." 

I loved the way the book ended on a hopeful message. Honestly, just an exquisitely written book that I hope gets the recognition it deserves.
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Fuse, a memoir and exploration of self, picks its way with care and clarity through a number of intermingling, complex issues, including biracial identity, womanhood, family, trauma, mental health, substance abuse, culture, and eating name a few. There's a lot going on in this short, terse book, and a lot of richness. 

I am, like Hollay Ghadery, a biracial woman, half Iranian and half white (a typically white American mix of Irish/Scottish/English, probably), with a history of depression and disordered eating, albeit not to the extent that Ghadery has dealt with. Fuse was not, therefore, easy reading for me.  But it's absolutely worthwhile, maybe even necessary, reading. Fuse is a vulnerable, intelligent, raw book, circling around Ghadery's experiences and struggles in a non-linear, musing manner that feels emotionally authentic but never gets disorganized or scattered. Ghadery opens windows into her life and her mind that many would not be willing to do, nor able to do with such deftness and thoughtfulness. 

Thank you to NetGalley and MiroLand for the advance review copy!
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It is not easy to read about things that are hidden deep inside us. This book is full of emotions, difficult and painful ones, as well as those from which we can learn something for life. A Very touching piece. However, I have a problem with reading such personal confessions, as I feel like I am entering someone's life without knocking.
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