Under the Harrow

Under the Harrow

by Flynn Berry

NOOK Book(eBook)

$1.99 View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101992067
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 208
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Flynn Berry is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers and has been awarded a Yaddo residency. Under the Harrow is her first novel.

Reading Group Guide

It’s Friday afternoon when Nora’s train departs from London’s Paddington Station. She’s headed to visit her sister, Rachel, who lives outside of Oxford in the small town of Marlow. With no other siblings or family besides their vagrant father, the two sisters are close and frequently spend their weekends together. But when Nora opens the front door, Rachel’s dog, Fenno, hangs dead from the bannisters and the walls are streaked with blood.
Even after she finds Rachel’s body and calls for an ambulance, Nora expects “Rachel to appear in the doorway. Her face confused and exhausted” (p. 8). Instead, a rush of paramedics and police swarm into the house while Nora sits outside in shock.
At the station, Detective Inspector Moretti asks if Rachel had any enemies. Nora imagines an alternative scenario in which Rachel escapes by killing her attacker. Then she recounts how, years earlier, Rachel had been badly beaten on her way home alone from a party. She was seventeen and had been drinking. The police “said they would be in touch if they identified a suspect, but of course they never did” (p. 48).
As Nora sheds her blood-soaked clothes, she wonders if this time will be any different. Her father is “an alcoholic. . . . He has a record” (p. 19). Along with Rachel’s former fiancé, their father will certainly be a suspect. But Nora fears her sister’s original attacker has finally returned to finish the job.
For years, Rachel and Nora combed the news, looking for stories about similar crimes. Then, five years before she was murdered, Rachel told Nora she was giving up. “She wanted to forget it ever happened” (p. 39).
A brochure from Victim Support explains how “life can fall apart after a murder” (p. 20). But more than Nora’s daily life falls apart. As the police investigation probes deeper, Nora begins to question just how well she actually knew her sister. The two spoke frequently, but Nora learns that Rachel kept many secrets, including the fact that Fenno was a trained guard dog.
Overnight, Marlow has been transformed from quaint to sinister. A week earlier, a car accident claimed the life of a young local. Now, Rachel’s murder has again plunged the town into mourning. No longer certain about the sister she thought she knew, Nora suspects everyone—including Rachel’s next-door neighbor and the local priest—but she distrusts her own memories most of all.
Spare, elegant, and deeply suspenseful, Under the Harrow is a mesmerizing portrait of two sisters trying to find their way in a dangerous world. And Flynn Berry announces herself as a writer to watch with a debut poised to take its place in the crime pantheon alongside Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Under the Harrow 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was fantastic until the plot twist. I was excited about getting to the juicy part, and then the book just ended. Highly unsatisfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was visually exquisite. It was brutally sad, yet I never despaired. A sister on a determined quest to find justice and the story of two women with secrets but never without love for each other. I give the highest praise for this writer. She is truly an exceptional talent!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suspenseful and beautifully written mystery The author nails the complicated love between sisters and the role that violence plays in haunting the victims for the rest of their lives
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What in the world is this?? It's a waste of time and $$. Hate to rate books so low,because the authors spend endless hours in writting, but still can't recommend.
wjane 5 months ago
Thrills and Suspense! I knew I‘d be up half the night as soon as I started reading. The suspense starts immediately and doesn’t end until the last page. I’ve read two of her books and hope there are more! Put this Author at the top of your must read list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
clg1982 More than 1 year ago
Interesting psychological thriller. The location descriptions were very vivid and the narrator kept me guessing as to where the plot would go next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started out alright , confusing in the middle. Unsatisfying ckimax...if it even had one. Extremely disappointing ending. Felt like the writing was rushed towards the end.
ladygwain More than 1 year ago
"Under the Harrow" certainly grabs your attention! It is a quick and easy read with short chapters. Berry engages the reader quickly with the gruesome murder of her sister. However, I found that some of the characters were superfluous and some needed more substance and development. With that said, I still needed to know "who done it". I was surprised by the direction she took Nora and further surprised by the ending. None of us is perfect and Berry reminds us of this fact; she reminds us that the bond between sisters, though often flawed, is not easily broken.
StephanieTiner More than 1 year ago
When Nora goes to visit her sister Rachel at her country home, she expects a quiet, enjoyable visit. Instead, she walks through the door to a scene of terror; her sister has been violently murdered. After the shock of finding her sister, and little faith in police, Nora sets out to find the man who stole her sister from her. Secrets her sister left behind leads her through a crazy world of possible assailants and a path bordering on obsession. This book was a nice change. A psychological thriller, according to the publishers, not my normal reading choice. I was intrigued by the book's blurb on Goodreads though, and decided to try it out. The cover artwork is intriguing, featuring a woman standing atop what appears to be a grassy hill near twilight. The dark colors used sets an ominous tone, fitting for a thriller. The writing is well constructed, the language and vocabulary suitable for the character telling the story. As for the plot line, I was surprised when I first held this book because it is very thin. Being a psychological thriller, I figured it would need more in order to properly tell the story. The book jumps right into the suspense, though I found it to be more of a mystery than a thriller. The action and intrigue came and went. There were times when I was less interested and wishing for the story to get back to the exciting part. There is a lot of back-story for such a short novel, some of it seeming to have little to no relevance to the story. All in all, the story was interesting, with some hiccups. This book has been compared to both "The Girl on the Train" and "Gone Girl," neither of which have I read. I feel that this was more of a mystery novel than a thriller and can think of no thrillers that I could justify comparing this book to that I have read. I would recommend this book to fans of mystery books because it just did not feel like a thriller. I won my copy of this novel on Goodreads Firstreads and have permission from the publishers to use the image above. stephanietiner.weebly.com
Twink More than 1 year ago
Under the Harrow is Flynn Berry's debut novel. Nora is traveling to her sister's home for the weekend. She's a bit late, but when she arrives Rachel isn't there to meet the train. Nora instead walks to the house where she finds Rachel and her dog - brutally murdered. Rachel was attacked as a teenager and the crime was never solved. Since then, she and Nora have always combed the crime reports, attended trials and more in an attempt to find the man who assaulted Rachel. Could he have found her after all this time? Is it someone in the village? A lover? A jealous wife? A stranger? "Rachel said there was something wrong with the town, only a few weeks ago" The search for answers consumes Nora - she stays in the village, unable to return to her own life. She becomes obsessed, certain she can find the killer as she feels the police aren't making any headway. Under the Harrow is of course a mystery - there are many suspects offered up. And I liked that I was kept guessing until the very last pages. But Under the Harrow is also an exploration of the relationship between the two sisters. How well do we really know those we love? How well do we know ourselves? What does such a calamitous event do to a person's psyche? For me, this was the strongest part of the book. Berry puts us in Nora's head - her staccato thoughts, memories, hazy recollections and fractured thinking is mirrored in her dialogue and actions. The reader is kept off kilter, trying to keep up with Nora's galloping 'stream of consciousness' thoughts. And I began to question Nora's memories. Are they true or her remembered truths? The title? It's a C.S. Lewis quote from A Grief Observed: "Come, what do we gain by evasions? We are under the harrow and can't escape." This was a strong debut and an author I would pick up again.