Author: Sara Aurorae
Genre: Literary Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Year Published: 2023
“Nerdection Worth to Read”
If you’re a women’s fiction aficionado like me, then you won’t want to miss Sara Aurorae’s latest novel, “Bully” This gripping story follows the journey of Sarah, a woman who must confront her past and learn to stand up for herself. Aurorae’s writing is powerful and relatable, as she explores themes of self-love and empowerment. Her characters are so well-crafted that you’ll feel like you know them personally. “Bully” is a must-read for anyone who loves a good page-turner with a strong message. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a powerful and captivating read.
Spoiler Free Plot of Bully By Sara Aurorae
Bully By Sara Aurorae tells the story of a woman of Turkish origin who strives to fit into Australian society. Sarah, an unwanted child, has been scorned by her parents, neglected by her siblings, and disapproved of simply for existing. Despite all of this, Sarah manages to preserve her kindness. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Kieran, Sarah’s colleague at work. Like Sarah, Kieran has faced serious childhood trauma. Unlike Sarah, however, he has succumbed to it and become a toxic person.
As Sarah struggles to find the right person for her, Kieran makes her already lonely life even more miserable by bringing out the worst in her. Despite trying every possible way to avoid Kieran’s negative personality, including discussing it with him and complaining to HR, Sarah cannot escape the aftermath of his toxic masculinity. This follows her throughout her later life, causing her health to deteriorate in ways beyond her psychological state.
Finally, after all the chaos, Kieran comes to apologize. But now Sarah is left with a difficult decision: should she forgive him or should she smack him directly in the face for making her life hell?
This bildungsroman women’s fiction explores Sarah’s personal experiences of being bullied both at school and work, and poses a simple yet thought-provoking question – what does it take to forgive a person who shows no remorse? Readers won’t have to read an entire book to find out.
My Take on Bully By Sara Aurorae
I was intrigued by the premise of Bully, which promised the story of a girl who was intimidated at work, and I was hoping to connect with her experiences. I was also interested in finding out whether Kieran would ever realize the toxicity of his behavior. As I read the book, I was saddened by how Sarah was suffering from unknown medical conditions. Her doctors knew that something was wrong, but they never seemed to diagnose her.
When she learned that she would die of heart failure, my heart broke just as hers would have. To know that only one person is responsible for all the bad things happening in your life is a terrible feeling, and no one should have to suffer like that. Unsurprisingly, Kieran was a completely messed-up person, whose toxic masculinity stemmed from a disturbing childhood. However, being poorly treated as a child is never an excuse for being toxic to others. Alas, but Kieran doesn’t know this, and his actions will leave you (along with Sarah) a devastated sobbing mess.
Aurorae’s perspective on healing through complex traumas is profound. “Bully” takes an untraditional, yet not unheard-of approach to elaborating on work-related bullying. What most people fail to understand is that workplace bullying is vastly different from playing pranks or physically abusing someone, since it is more subtle and causes psychological suffering. Another aspect of the book that surprised me was the vast array of medical problems that Sarah suffered from. Just because of one person who gaslighted her, spread rumors about her, and created feelings of self-doubt. In short, he did everything to make her life a living hell. A still bigger wonder — he seemed to like her. I mean, how sick is that?
Talking of characters in Bully, Sarah, and Aylin’s friendship was very sweet. Noah was a great character too. Readers get a glimpse of Sarah’s growth arc and it was soothing to see her grow through her traumas. Kieran remained Kieran, however. He had a static persona, and I was somehow relieved to read his ending.
Although I enjoyed reading “Bully,” there were some parts that I didn’t particularly care for. For instance, I sometimes found Sarah’s detailed monologues to be a bit much. While Aurorae wanted to give us a glimpse into how toxic workplace culture can affect someone’s everyday life, I found myself wishing that Sarah would stop ruminating on how Kieran had managed to make her day worse, yet again. I also felt that Sarah gave Kieran more chances than he deserved.
Overall, ‘Bully’ was a great read and I highly recommend it to both working men and women, since toxicity is a trait that can affect both sexes – and everybody should know how to cope in such a situation.
Read more women’s fiction reviews here.
Bully explores themes of generational trauma, misogyny, and sexuality and is intended for mature ages, say 18+.
About The Author Of Bully
Sara Aurorae is a project leader on various projects for the federal government focusing on human rights, including sexual harassment and sex discrimination, child safety, and Indigenous rights.