Author Topic: UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry  (Read 3486 times)

Becke Davis

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UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry
« on: April 23, 2020, 12:18:45 am »
I just finished UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry. It won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 2017. I came across this book in Smith's, an independent new-and-used bookstore here in Eugene, Oregon, back when stores were open. I picked it up out of curiosity and was intrigued by the back cover blurb. And then I came home and it was buried in my to-be-read pile until I came across it a couple days ago.

I liked it a lot and I'm looking forward to reading her second book, A DOUBLE LIFE soon, too.

JRob

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Re: UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2020, 09:36:45 am »
What's the general synopsis for the story?

Becke Davis

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Re: UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2020, 12:50:22 pm »
What's the general synopsis for the story?

A woman, Nora, travels north from London to visit her sister, Rachel, who lives in a country town called Marlow. Their mother died years ago and they avoid their father. The sisters are very close - they recently spent some time in Cornwall and are now planning to move there. Nora is eager to get out of London, which is too full of painful memories of her breakup with Liam. She is so attuned to her sister that she spends the train ride picturing her sister preparing for her visit, all the details of Rachel's food preparation fill Nora's head. Rachel isn't waiting when Nora arrives at the station. Nora is running late, for one thing, and it isn't part of their routine for Rachel to meet her.

As Nora makes her way to Rachel's house, she thinks about Rachel's German Shepherd. On her last visit, Nora gave the dog a bath and is eager to spend more time with her furry friend. The lights in the house are welcoming. Nora is hungry and shivering, more than ready for a hot meal and an evening listening to Rachel's stories of her work as a nurse practitioner.

The story is full of twists, and it includes some flashbacks to a defining incident in Rachel's life. I really like the writer's style - she makes you envision each scene in vivid detail, without becoming wordy. I've seen this book compared to GONE GIRL. There is a murder, a gruesome attack and one upsetting death that instantly sucks in the reader. It's not a long book so it doesn't require a huge investment of time. Well worth the read!

JRob

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Re: UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2020, 09:16:33 pm »
I hate to say it but the idea of it being compared to Gone Girl kind of turns me off to wanting to read the book.

Becke Davis

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Re: UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2020, 01:21:23 am »
I hate to say it but the idea of it being compared to Gone Girl kind of turns me off to wanting to read the book.

I think the comparison was made because readers aren't sure whether the narrator is reliable or not. The plot itself is nothing like Gone Girl, but it is very twisty. Figuring out who you can trust is part of the fun. :-)

JRob

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Re: UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2020, 08:38:49 am »

I think the comparison was made because readers aren't sure whether the narrator is reliable or not. The plot itself is nothing like Gone Girl, but it is very twisty. Figuring out who you can trust is part of the fun. :-)

OK. That might be okay then because I am not interested in anything remotely like Gone Girl.

Becke Davis

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Re: UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2020, 04:32:29 pm »
I liked it but it was over-hyped. My daughter preferred DECONSTRUCTING AMELIA to GONE GIRL. I liked that one, too.