Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Furies” as Want to Read:
The Furies
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Furies

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  1,362 Ratings  ·  261 Reviews
After losing her fiancé in a shocking tragedy, Alex Morris moves from London to Edinburgh to make a break with the past. Formerly an actress, Alex accepts a job teaching drama therapy at a school commonly referred to as "The Unit," a last-chance learning community for teens expelled from other schools in the city. Her students have troubled pasts and difficult personalitie ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Furies, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Furies

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
i grabbed this from netgalley thinking it was going to be a The Secret History kind of story, just because: teacher, troubled students, greek tragedies, "cruel fate and bloody revenge," yadda yadda. but it is a very different kind of story. not a bad thing at all, but if you are looking for The Secret History knockoffs like i always am, know that this is not the same kind of narrative arc. there are troubled students, yes, and there will be crime, but it is a much narrower story than s.h. and it ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Alex has lost her fiance to a brutal killing. So when her friend Robert offers her a job in a new town away from the pain she is having living in London she takes the job. She starts working in Edinburgh in a school of troubled teenagers. The one class that stands out for her is her harder one. Five teenagers she sets out to make a difference too.
In the beginning the book reminded me quite a bit of the movie "Dangerous Minds". That's really not a bad thing since I enjoyed that movie.

She gets th
Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.

Alex Morris is a successful theatre director at the age of twenty-six and has a pretty perfect life. She lives in London with her adoring fiancé Luke, an even more successful lawyer, and is not only blissfully happy, but thankful for her happiness and aware of how lucky she is. All of this changes abruptly when Luke dies suddenly, and, mired in grief, Alex returns to Edinburgh - where she went to university - and is taken under the wing of Robert,
Julia Ibbotson
I seem to be one of the very few who has not rated this book highly! I'm afraid that I can't give it 3 stars as I can't say that I liked it. There were too many flaws and irritations. The premise is that Alex, a successful theatre producer in London, flees back to her university town of Edinburgh after a tragic incident kills her fiancé Luke. The story is then woven around the aftermath of the killing; why is Alex apparently spying on someone and why is one of her pupils stalking her? The basic ...more
Aug 25, 2014 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here’s my conundrum: how do I rate a book that had me eagerly turning pages well into the evening…and yet left me feeling curiously flat by the time I finished?

The Furies has a lot going for it. The first-person narrator, Alex Morris, flees from her former life as a theater director to take on the challenge of teaching dysfunctional kids in Edinburgh after the unfair death of her fiancée.

As a novice teacher, she gravitates toward her oldest class – two boys and three girls, all 15 years old. He
Liz Barnsley
First of all, I am not entirely sure myself why this particular novel captured my imagination the way it did – but it really really did.

The premise or rather construction of the story is not entirely new, but the way Natalie Haynes tells us the tale is imaginative, captivating and utterly engaging . We start the book knowing that a tragedy has occurred but not the details nor the specific players – as things unfold using diary entries, real time action and past flashbacks, it is compelling stuff
Jun 28, 2014 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: debut-novels, 2014
Alex Morris’ fiancé was unexpectedly and brutally killed and she is drowning in grief. Barely coping, she moves to Edinburgh to make a fresh start. Her background is in theater and she takes a teaching job at Rankeillor Street, a place for children who have been kicked out of previous schools. She chooses to focus on Greek tragedies and she’s pleased with the result—at first. Only when it’s too late does she realize what has been unleashed by the volatile mixture of troubled teens and themes of ...more
Jul 30, 2014 Aubrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Published with an endorsement on the cover from S J Watson, The Amber Fury is being billed as a 'thriller' and a 'page-turner'. This seems to me to be an example of what happens when the marketing department is allowed too much influence in a book's categorisation. Yes, there is murder here - two murders in fact - but Natalie Haynes' fictional debut is really a novel of ideas.

Alex, a promising young theatre director, whose boyfriend was killed while intervening to protect a woman in a street bra
Margaret Madden
Feb 22, 2014 Margaret Madden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Thanks to for the review copy of this book.......

Alex Morris has escaped to Edinburgh in order to forget her past. She finds herself helping a group of troubled teens who, for varied reasons, have been kicked out of mainstream schools. Through her teaching of Greek Tragedies and her interest in these forgotten children, she inspires them to look at life from a different perspective. When her past seeps into her present, things get out of control and Alex is obliviou
Renita D'Silva
Jun 27, 2015 Renita D'Silva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Cleverly written, in sharp and fierce prose, this is an addictive read. Loved it.
Aug 19, 2014 Wendi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My goodness, I've seen some harsh reviews out there for this novel.

Some say that it's far too predictable. I'd say that it appears to be so predictable because the who-does-it question isn't really so much the point of the novel. Granted, I recognized the identity of the Fury so early on - and you will, too, I assure you - that I thought there would be some sort of twist in that identification, but there wasn't. So when I saw these criticisms, they gave me pause to consider and I don't think th
Jun 09, 2014 Tashia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
(first-read) It's good but I felt myself getting bored at times. The best part of the book is the last 100 pages when things come together. A very memorable book.
Kayla D
A free digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

After recently finishing – and loving – Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, I was beyond ready for more reads that involved troubled kids, Greek plays, and brutal revenge. These factors were all present in Natalie Haynes’ The Furies and this was the main reason why I was drawn to the book.

The Furies is set in Edinburgh and the narrative frequently portrayed it as a dark, dismal place with
Jan 29, 2016 Karielle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
I met them on the 6th of January 2011, in the basement room at 58 Rankeillor Street. And I wouldn't have believed any of them could do something so monstrous.

Theater director Alex Morris flees to Edinburgh in wake of her fiancé's brutal, unexpected death, seeking the position of a grade school drama teacher as refuge. But her background is not education, and this is no ordinary school; dubbed "The Unit," this alternative learning center takes in teenagers who have nowhere else to go, other than
The ancient Greek tragedies told the story of a basically good person who, through fatal error or misjudgment, experienced a downfall that produced suffering and insight for the protagonist. The chorus would open the play with foreshadow and then reappear frequently throughout and finally end the play with their song as the protagonist accepts responsibility for his own fate with honor. The greats established this very simple method of presenting a play about humans and their tragic flaws and th ...more
AmberBug ** review

Dear Reader,

This was not the book for ME. Let me explain this... I think the publisher's description is very misleading, I was under the impression that it would be more thriller than anything else. This was NOT the case. Do not be fooled into thinking this is the next "Gone Girl", because it doesn't even come close. I might end up judging this too harshly because I don't like getting tricked. For example, if you notice above it says, "Finding them enthralled by tales of
Bill Kupersmith
I'd love to read Greek tragedy with Haynes. Apparently the American publishers think we Yanks are too stupid to catch the allusion in the original title The Amber Fury & changed it to The Furies.

When I read The Amber Fury last spring I loved it but there were several turns in the plot & character that eluded me & I put off writing a fuller review. Now that I’ve finished Tana French’s The Secret Place - another & even more wonderful story dealing with a tragedy in a contemporary
Jan 27, 2015 Tripfiction rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Novel set in Edinburgh ("Tales within tales")

The Edinburgh described in the book is dark and forbidding, exposing a side that those who know the city can relate to. Old town buildings, Victorian closes and the ever present Arthur’s Seat are written of with knowledge. Glimpses of a more vibrant Edinburgh during the yearly Festival lighten the city, allowing the reader to know that there is more than one side to this glorious city, full of history, pomp and ceremony.

It is a book where the author w
Liz Barnsley
Jul 30, 2014 Liz Barnsley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all, I am not entirely sure myself why this particular novel captured my imagination the way it did – but it really really did.

The premise or rather construction of the story is not entirely new, but the way Natalie Haynes tells us the tale is imaginative, captivating and utterly engaging . We start the book knowing that a tragedy has occurred but not the details nor the specific players – as things unfold using diary entries, real time action and past flashbacks, it is compelling stuff
Beth Keogh
Feb 26, 2014 Beth Keogh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I literally just read this book in one sitting I think it took about 2 hours.

I got this as a review copy from Waterstones and I wasn't really expecting much I don't even remember requesting it, so I went in with fairly low expectations....they were completely blow out of the water I freaking LOVED this book!!

I don't want to give anything away so I suggest you just read the synopsis on here, as I will likely say something wrong and give something away.

This book is almost flawless, the main chara
Robert Blumenthal
This novel reminded me a lot of the novel What Was She Thinking (Notes on a Scandal) by Zoe Heller. It has the same kind of feel to it, involving a young woman working at a school. It is about a young woman whose fiance has recently died while they were living together in London. She moves to Edinburgh, Scotland, where she had studied drama in college, and takes a job in a school for wayward youth run by her former mentor at the university. It is both about her using Greek tragedies in an attemp ...more
Jul 28, 2014 Keira. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm unsure how I felt about this title. There were places I felt I loved it, and places I felt it would never end. One thing I did like was that it stayed true to the format of Greek tragedy, which was what made the book suspenseful.

From the beginning you wonder who Alex is and what brought her to this place, where she's teaching multiple groups of adolescents. Alex wasn't exactly likable or dislikable, she merely was. I found myself irritated at her passive behavior, however, chocked it up to
Nov 02, 2014 Samantha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books
The premise? A young woman who has experienced life-changing loss ... and decides the best thing to do is become a teacher/mentor to troubled youth... *Pause.* Yeah... Exactly, this sounds like an excellent idea. Alex Morris flees from London to Edinburgh and the remnants of her successful life as a "promising" stage director following the death of her fiancé. There, despite her total lack of experience teaching, a former teacher who now heads up a school for "difficult" children, scores her a j ...more
Renata Barcelos
The concept and the writing were certainly top notch here. I absolutely agree with the author that Greek tragedies and teens have a lot in common; the idea certainly granted a good part of my enjoyment with this novel and gave it credibility and made it compelling. The relationship between teacher and students is slowly and steadily built, in a crescendo that makes good literature. The character development was also very well done.

However, I expected more, hence the 3 star rating. It was all con
Sep 12, 2014 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paper, debut, library
Somewhere, my education went awry; I don't remember ever reading any Greek tragedies as a kid. So, in a way, this book sparked an interest in that regard. The lessons Alex taught throughout the book seemed formulaic, however. Like the author really wanted to share what she knew about the tragedies and we just had to buckle up and go along for the ride. Much more interesting to me was the story of Mel. I wish the whole thing would have been written from her perspective. And maybe geared toward a ...more
Oct 11, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I spent a majority of the time reading this book with that tune from Jaws running in the back of my head. The book itself was low key enough but you KNOW something is coming and it is going to be big and it may or may not surprise you, but even if you figure out that the shark is coming that doesn't lessen the anticipation waiting for it. As if that weren't enough, the author drags in some nice Greek mythology, theatre references, and Scotland. Although the storyline appeared to drag at moments ...more
Sean Kerr
Jan 15, 2017 Sean Kerr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down. Every free minute I had was spent reading. I just couldn't get enough.

I absolutely loved this book. Right from the get-go, I was intrigued by the characters and the two mysterious crimes that are only hinted at until later in the book.

I loved the style of writing the author employed, and the pacing and the way in which she gave glimpses into two different characters. There weren't two POVs, but one POV with diary pages of another character. It was fresh and fasc
Jan 01, 2016 Jorie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Furies was an interesting read that kept me turning the pages, but also kept me wanting more action. With that said, the book isn't about the actions the characters take; it's more about how the characters' lives and feelings are affected by their actions and the actions of others. The characters are believable and evoke empathy from the reader. I like the ideas presented such as how a person reacts in the face of great loss. I would definitely read another novel by Natalie Haynes.
Jul 23, 2015 Johanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this - what happens when a grieving teacher introduces disaffected teens to Greek tragedy......

Its well written, it flows nicely and if you aren't familiar with Greek tragedy it gives you potted versions of the classics as the plot unfolds. It is possibly a little predictable but it was perfect cross channel ferry reading
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dancing on Knives
  • In My House
  • The Art of Drowning
  • The Professor of Poetry
  • A Lovely Way to Burn (Plague Times, #1)
  • A Cry In The Night
  • What Lies Within
  • The Recruit (MTG Agencies #1)
  • The Lessons
  • Things We Have in Common
  • The Friday Gospels
  • In Real Life
  • Sugar Hall
  • Tarnished
  • Upstairs at the Party
  • Smuggler's Moon (Sir John Fielding, #8)
  • Dead Ringer
  • Christmas Present (The Chronicles of St Mary's #4.5)
Natalie Haynes, author of THE FURIES (THE AMBER FURY in the UK), is a graduate of Cambridge University and an award-winning comedian, journalist, and broadcaster. She judged the Man Booker Prize in 2013 and was a judge for the final Orange Prize in 2012. Natalie was a regular panelist on BBC2’s Newsnight Review, Radio 4’s Saturday Review, and the long-running arts show, Front Row. She is a guest c ...more
More about Natalie Haynes...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“1) I can’t hear you if we’re outside and there is a lot of traffic. The traffic is always louder than your voice, and because it’s lower-pitched, I can hear it more easily than I can hear your voice.” 0 likes
More quotes…