Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: October 08, 2019
Genre: Coming-of-Age / Adult Fiction
In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead.
She’s posed on a swing on her boarding school’s property, dressed all in white, with no known cause of death. Whispers and rumors swirl, with no answers. But there are a few who know what happened; there is one girl who will never forget.
One year earlier: a new student, Violet, steps on the campus of Elm Hollow Academy, an all-girl’s boarding school on the outskirts of a sleepy coastal town. This is her fresh start, her chance to begin again in the wake of tragedy, leave her demons behind. Bright but a little strange, uncertain and desperate to fit in, she soon finds herself invited to an advanced study group, led by her alluring and mysterious art teacher, Annabel.
There, with three other girls–Alex, Grace, and Robin–the five of them delve into the school’s long-buried grim history: of Greek and Celtic legends; of the school founder’s “academic” interest in the occult; of gruesome 17th century witch trials. Annabel does her best to convince the girls that her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals, and that they are just history and mythology. But the more she tries to warn the girls off the topic, the more they drawn to it, and the possibility that they can harness magic for themselves.
Violet quickly finds herself wrapped up in this heady new world of lawless power–except she is needled by the disappearance of a former member of the group, one with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance. As her friends’ actions take a turn for the darker and spiral out of control, she begins to wonder who she can trust, all the while becoming more deeply entangled. How far will these young girls go to protect one another…or to destroy one another?
If you are looking for a slow burn, and I mean really slow, you will get it with The Furies. I wish the pacing would have been better because I felt like it took a long time to read even though in reality it didn’t even take me 5 hours. I really liked the aspect of the history of the school and I wish it would have had even more of that. There are creepy parts that deal with witchcraft that I wish would have popped up more since that’s when things got really interesting.
I didn’t find myself liking any characters in the novel, so be prepared for that. Violet seems smart enough, but I just couldn’t get behind most of her decisions. Of course this is a coming-of-age tale though, so I guess you have to expect decisions not to be great. The ending was pretty chilling though, and you don’t know who the dead girl is until the end. I didn’t figure out who it was going to be, but I guess I should have. I just let the book take me away and tried not to sleuth.
I read an interview with Lowe on sublimehorror.com after finishing this book where she said that she wanted to do young women’s anger some justice and I think she definitely did. There is a lot of rage in The Furies and it was interesting to see how the girls handled it. Reading her interview actually made me appreciate this book more, which was helpful. It was such a unique book, and unlike anything I have ever read which I think is in part thanks to Lowe’s writing style. It isn’t just about murder, but also deals with rape and body issues among other things. She really tried to bring the teenage years to life which I can always appreciate.
Song/s the book brought to mind: Secret by The Pierces
Final Thought: There were elements of The Furies that I really liked which is why I still ended up at a 3/5 for this one. While it didn’t blow me away and the pacing was too slow for my liking, I would definitely still read this author’s next book. I would also recommend this book to the right person. As long as you don’t mind really slow pacing and you like books that delve into teenage rage and witchcraft, this would be a good one to pick up!
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5
Thank you to the publisher for my advanced review copy via NetGalley. All opinions and thoughts are my own.