A review by introverted_reads
The Furies, by Katie Lowe

challenging dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


On paper, this is my perfect book. It promised witchcraft, academia, murder, moral decay, and the arts. It did, to some extent, deliver this and I did enjoy it on the most part. If you’re a fan of books like The Secret History (Donna Tartt) or If We Were Villains (M. L. Rio), which I am, this is again a novel of secrecy, elite academic circles, murder, boundaries and transgression, and decay. After the disappearance of a previous member of the elite art group, Violet is introduced to a world of witchcraft, female anger, moral transgressions, and the pursuit of beauty above all else. Violet is swept into the turbulent dynamic of the group, lured by the promise of solidarity and companionship, and very quickly finds herself inseparable from Robin, the enigmatic best friend of the missing girl. Violet and Robin begin down a path of bloody pagan rituals and revenge, and the declination of morality is triggered. The Furies is a captivating, dark novel that is a must read for fans of the gothic or the dark academia cult (/lh) that is forever growing.

However, I feel that this book is somewhat problematic. If it were published even 10 years ago, I’d be more understanding of some of the themes/ideas within this book, but considering it was published in 2019, it is extremely concerning to see the pro-ana/pro-mia culture of the 2000-2010s finding its way into a contemporary piece of fiction. The arguably romantic depiction of this culture feels very out of place and extremely harmful. With eating disorders worryingly on the rise, and pro-ana/mia culture finding a renaissance on TikTok, I personally am concerned at the misconstrued ideas held within Lowe’s novel. For a book published in 2019 with a host of academic psychiatry resources and credible eating disorder information available online, to have such a glorified depiction of eating disorder themes doesn’t sit right with me. I feel as if there must be a reexamination of what exactly is being presented within this book, as I feel as though this could be dangerous in some hands.

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