I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – Thanks to the team at Harper Collins for sending me a copy!
Title: The Furies
Author: Katie Lowe
Genre: Mystery & Thriller, General Fiction (Adult), Y/A
Publication Date: 2nd May 2019
You’d kill to be one of them.
1998. A sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing. No known cause of death.
Four girls know what happened.
And until now they’ve kept their silence.
Violet is returning home, back to the sleepy coastal town which holds so many memories.
In 1998, after a tragic accident claimed the lives of her father and sister, she joins Elm Hollow Academy, a private girls’ school with an unpleasant history of 17th century witch trials.
There she is drawn to Robin, Grace, Alex and their charismatic teacher, Annabel; she is invited to join them in their advanced study group.
There they learn about art, literature and the grisly history of the school. Though Annabel claims her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals, she warns them off the topic, describing it as little more than mythology. However, the more the girls learn, the more they start to believe that magic is real, and that together they can harness it.
But when the body of a former member of the society is found on campus nine months after the she disappeared, fingers are pointed at those closest to her. Leading Violet to wonder whether she can trust her friends, teachers, or even herself…
As soon as I read the synopsis for this novel, I knew I just had to read it! Witchcraft, private school, a shady disappearance and mythological references? Count me in!
The Furies was so much more than I expected. At times it was so insightful and touched on some really heavy topics like grief, substance abuse, sexual and physical assault to name a few. I also quite enjoyed the many literary references which are included throughout the book, it just made it more stimulating for me and taught me some more stories!
The story is told through the perspective of Violet, a teen girl who is utterly lost and isolated. After the accident which claimed the lives of her father and younger sister, it’s clear that Violet is struggling to deal with her grief. Whereas her mother seems to be in a downward spiral, Violet seems to be in denial completely. I think this is a realistic portrayal of grief and how it can manifest in such different ways depending on the individual.
When Violet gains entrance to the prestigious Elm Hollow Academy, which has a mysterious and violent past, that’s where our story gets more twisted. When Violet meets the enigmatic and edgy Robin, she can’t help but be caught up in her and her world of parties, drugs and strange rituals…they can’t be real…or can they?
Lowe also does a great job in portraying the realities of toxic friendships and how they can have such a drastic effect on a persons life – in some cases irrevocably. Violet gets so caught up in the idea of Robin and is consumed by pleasing her and trying to live up to expectations. I feel like many readers will be able to relate or at least see some similarities between their own experiences and what Lowe so skilfully portrays with this relationship.
Perhaps the most interesting element in the book is the fact that the story is told in hindsight by Violet. This added a sense of melancholy and a wistfulness to her recollections which was nothing short of haunting. I always find narratives like this fascinating and some of my favourite pieces of literature have this technique.
Overall, while The Furies wasn’t quite the story I was expecting, in that it delved so much deeper and was so much darker than I thought it would be – it’s definitely worth a read. I could totally see this being a really successful film or mini series. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys reading Y/A with a female centric narrative as well as fans of Heathers or The Craft.
★★★★ – 4 Star Rating
Does The Furies sound like a book you’d be interested in? Do you enjoy female centric narratives, if so, what’s your favourite one?
Until next time,