Fierce, Funny, and Female
Author, comedian, and advocate Marti MacGibbon knows a little something about standing up to adversity. Abused by her husband, then medicated, mistreated, and slandered by her husband’s family, she makes the heart-wrenching decision to leave her young daughter behind while she moves south, seeking financial independence and a chance to rebuild and redefine who she is.
Reinventing herself as a technician in the dangerous oil fields of Texas, Marti blazes a path for women in a men’s world, proving doubters wrong left and right as she thrives in a true Wild West boom period, only to find a new path for herself when she embraces the world of stand-up comedy.
Fierce, Funny, and Female is a transformative tale: one woman’s journey from victim to vindicated as she embarks on a quest to discover the true limits of what she can accomplish. Marti proves to be both a protagonist worth cheering for and an engaging narrator, looking back on a life well lived without glossing over the rough patches.
I confess, I struggled with the star rating for this book, mostly regarding the comedic promise of the book. It’s no failing of MacGibbon’s, since she does an impressive and entertaining job of couching many of her misfortunes in humor — particularly her time wildcatting in the oil fields with a colorful band of characters — but with a litany of experiences with abuse and harassment at the hands of some real bastards, at points, the reader can’t help but be infuriated, making it harder for the humor to shine through.
That being said, it takes a deft touch to be funny about the dark moments in one’s life. She never makes light of those horrible moments, somehow managing to thread the needle and deliver all of the intensity of the bad while still undercutting it with funny asides and observations. It’s a balancing act that many other authors would struggle with, but MacGibbon makes it look effortless.
This is particularly true when it comes to her facility with characterization. What might’ve seemed hokey in another author’s hands becomes hilarious and distinctive with Marti’s careful ministrations. The purposeful misspellings, capitalizations, and other affectations bring Texas accents to life, and I daresay if you lined up a half-dozen samples from the book, the reader would have no problem identifying which of the various rough-and-tumble characters was speaking. That’s a testament to both her natural ability as a born storyteller and a skill that’s clearly been cultivated and nurtured over the years.
Fierce, Funny, and Female, much like its author, is a triple threat, representing the hope and resurrection of which we are all capable. Here’s hoping we can do so with as much style and grace as Marti MacGibbon.
Stay Strong Publishing