The Narrow by Kate Alice Marshall
Published on October 15, 2023
Reviewed by Samantha Calderone
The story of the Narrow is well-known at the Atwood School. The Narrow is a river that runs behind the Atwood school, only a few feet across and unassuming, but those who fall into its depths face vicious waters and an unrelenting dark. It is rumored that those who have fallen into the Narrow do not survive. But Eden White knows the rumors are wrong.
Six years ago, Eden watched as Delphine Fournier fell into the Narrow and survived. Delphine now lives in careful seclusion, kept separate from the rest of the school to keep her safe. Delphine suffers from a mysterious illness, where even a single drop of unpurified water could be deadly to her. While no one knows why, Eden cannot shake the feeling that Delphine's illness is connected to the Narrow.
Unable to pay for her tuition, Eden is given the choice to either become a paid live-in companion for Delphine or return home. Choosing to move into Abigail House and remain at school, Eden finds herself drawn to Delphine. When the truth of what happened to the last girl who lived with Delphine comes to light, and questions begin circling about the ghost of the Drowning Girl, Eden begins to wonder what else might be connected to the Narrow and if it might be coming for her next.
The Narrow is a coming-of-age story of love and loss with a haunting spin. Readers will be able to identify the different types of love presented through Eden's relationships, while also being able to understand the emotional impact each type of love has on Eden's life. While Eden's love life is not the main focus of the novel, it does play a large part in the readers understanding of her motives and provides a solid framework for her characterization.
As Eden develops feelings for Delphine, she becomes more involved in the mystery of the Narrow, which presents as a parallel to Eden's declining mental health. As Eden becomes consumed with the mystery of the Narrow, readers are able to see that the rest of her life is beginning to spiral. Although it takes some time for Eden to recognize her depression, readers are able to understand what is happening before Eden does. Marshall does an excellent job at creating a thriller that not only covers the impact of depression and mental health but does so in a way that is engaging for readers.
This ghostly mystery will draw readers into its depths refusing to let go until the very last moment. This novel is perfect for fans of dark academia, or those looking for a haunting Halloween read.