The Furies

The Furies
Katie Lowe
Published date

The Furies is a debut novel from Katie Lowe. Violet is sixteen and she’s been through a lot already. Her Father and little sister died in a car crash while she was a lone survivor. Her mother seems to gave up on life all together and is not helping her daughter anyhow. When she joins Elm Hollow Academy, the private school for girls, she doesn’t have her hopes high for making her life any better. But suddenly and unexpectedly she finds herself befriended by a very interesting and popular girl Robin, who also introduced Violet to her two other friends. But this is not the end of surprises, she also gets invitation to a very exclusive advanced study group led by charismatic art teacher.

This book is many things. Firstly I thought it would be a contemporary with some thriller elements. Then after reading a few chapters we learn, that Elm Hollow has a long history of witch trials and that there are old books full of dark rituals in very convenient places waiting for girls to find them and experiment with magic. But then again, the witchcraft is not the main topic of this book.

The author explores vividly what toxic female friendships can lead to. Violet is shy and has very low self esteem, so when she met Robin, who shows interest in her, she is immediately fixated on doing everything to stay her friend. Even though it means doing things she would never do otherwise or changing to a person she doesn’t recognize anymore. The author has PHD in female rage in literary modernism and it’s clearly showing in the book. The advanced study’s main topic is mainly female power, righteous rage and revenge on men through the ages. I really loved this little historical journey through literature and art, the different gender perspectives shown on the same situations. But for four young women, full of anger and impatience, those lessons become something more then theory.

The girls are convinced of their superiority and the right to avenge the wrongs that has been done to them by others. Firstly they are trying out ancient rituals, not sure if they do anything at all. But when unexpectedly their enemy is punished and no one blames them, they get a feeling of being invincible. They become more vicious and cruel with every passing day, and Violet still finds excuses to explain this behaviour as something normal.

I was quite hooked with this book. I started reading it as a side read while I was commuting (I have it in e-book format), but it quickly advanced to be my main book, because I was simply interested what the girls will come up with next. Not all the situations in the story were well explained or have an impact at the tale as a whole, and sometimes characters behaviour seemed very erratic and unexplainable. But then they were teenagers on drugs, alcohol and ancient rituals, so you can hardly blame them.

I liked the book’s structure. In the first pages we have a scene with a girl’s body found in the school grounds and then Violet tells the whole story leading to that exact moment. And we get the answers at the very end of the book. It was a really pleasant read, and if you like the stories of high school girls gone bad with some elements of mystic witchcraft and revenge you’ll enjoy this book for sure.