Release Date: May 2nd 2019
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.
Rating: 5/5 stars
In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing, with no known cause of death. The novel opens with this image, as related to us by the narrator, Violet, looking back on the night it happened from the present day, before returning to relate the series of events leading up to the girl’s murder.
After an accident involving her Dad and sister, Violet joins Elm Hollow Academy, a private girls school in a quiet coastal town, which has an unpleasant history as the site of famous 17th century witch trials. Violet quickly finds herself invited to become the fourth member of an advanced study group, alongside Robin, Grace, and Alex – led by their charismatic art teacher, Annabel.
While Annabel claims her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals – warning the girls off the topic, describing it as little more than mythology – the girls start to believe that magic is real, and that they can harness it. But when the body of a former member of the society – Robin’s best friend, with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance – is found dead on campus nine months after she disappeared, Violet begins to wonder whether she can trust her friends, teachers, or even herself.
The Furies is without a doubt, one of my favourite books of 2019. This story is dark, full of rage and absolutely engrossing. I completely fell under the spell of this book, and I never wanted it to end. The story follows Violet, a young girl sent to private school after the death of her father and sister in a car accident. Desperate to find any form of friendship she falls in with a group of girls named Robin, Alex and Grace. Violet joins their secret study group with a member of the faculty, learning all about ancient rites and the school’s history as site of witch burnings. The girls believe they can harness the magic, take revenge on those who have wronged them, but with so many secrets who do you believe, and more importantly who can you trust?
This books has echoes of The Craft and I loved the blending of mystery/thriller with just a hint of the supernatural. I adored Katie’s writing style, it kept sucking me in deeper and deeper until I was racing through the last few chapters of the book, desperate to know how it was going to end. I often find with mysteries that I guess the ending quick early on, but every twist in this book completely surprised me. I also really liked the setting too, a remote coastal town in England. It felt like the perfect dark and grey setting for this eerie and haunting tale.
I also adored the explorations of female friendships in this story, particularly highlighting toxic friendships. It was fascinating to see the relationships develop between the group, and particularly how they evolved as tensions ran higher. The Furies is an insightful and entertaining story, and one I definitely still think about even though I finished it a while ago.
The Furies is an engrossing tale of witchcraft, murder and friendship. If you’re looking for a fast paced tale that will keep you reading well past midnight, you absolutely have to pick this one up. I loved every second of this book and I’m dying to read more from Katie Lowe.