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The Furies

Title: The Furies
By: Natalie Haynes

In this first novel, reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, an inexperienced teacher named Alex moves to Edinburgh to teach drama therapy at a continuation school. One class of older teenagers demands to be taught real material; they're sick of being forced through session after session of "talking about feelings." Stung by their adolescent scorn, Alex introduces the five students to the tragedies of Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus.

This is the first time these "problem kids" have been treated with respect for their ideas. And the ancient themes of inescapable fate, intergenerational strife, and the obligation of vengeance prove to have particularly strong resonance with the teens' troubled lives. It's a volatile confluence of factors, and life begins to imitate myth in dangerous ways.

"I'm not pleading guilty because I want to be punished, I'm pleading guilty because I have to be punished. It's in the play, Alex—if society doesn't punish its criminals, the gods do...I can't really explain it to my mum—she pretends she understands, but I know she just thinks I’m mental. She hasn't read all the plays that we have, Alex, so she doesn't get it. But you have, so you should understand."

View similarly tagged posts: fiction

Posted on Jan. 3, 2015 at 1:41 a.m.

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