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Review | A Narrow Door

by Joanne Harris

Published : 4th August 2021

Publisher : Orion

Format : Kindle, Audio, Hardback, Paperback

Genre : Psychological Thriller

{ ๐š๐: ๐ฉ๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ / ๐ ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐š๐ซ๐œ }

* All words highlighted in Grey are affiliate links to either purchase from a range of sellers or links to the authors sites. Where ever possible I will try and provide different versions of the book on all purchase sites.


Now I'm in charge, the gates are my gates. The rules are my rules.

It's an incendiary moment for St Oswald's school. For the first time in its history, a headmistress is in power, the gates opening to girls.

Rebecca Buckfast has spilled blood to reach this position. Barely forty, she is just starting to reap the harvest of her ambition. As the new regime takes on the old guard, the ground shifts. And with it, the remains of a body are discovered.

But Rebecca is here to make her mark. She'll bury the past so deep it will evade even her own memory, just like she has done before. After all...

You can't keep a good woman down.

Thank you @Orion @compulsivereaders for this thrilling read.

My Review

โ€˜Women must be more discreet. All we need is a narrow door. And when we have crept in unseen, like a spider through a keyhole, we spin ourselves an empire of silk, and fill you with astonishment'.

Head Mistress Buckfast 2006

Told over two narratives, this is a story that builds by taking you back and forth between 2006 and 1989 to work out the disappearance of a young boy.

2006, Rebecca Buckfast is Headmistress of St Oswald's School. This is her crowing achievement as a women has never, in all of the schools history had a woman as its head.

But Rebecca has not received this title easily, she has had to sacrifice and fight her way to the top as in institutions like St Oswald's, women should be their for the basic reasons, cleaning, secretarial or as a parent. Not to run the school and hold all the power.

Rebecca has revolutionised the old school and has for the first time opened its doors to female students and eradicated some of the stuffy old traditions. But this has come at a price, secrets that even she does not know are threatening to come to the surface, long buried memories about that fateful day her brother disappeared are being exposed and she must do what ever she can to keep her legacy from being destroyed.

We also hear from Roy Straitley, a teacher at St Oswald's whose pupils have discovered a body after sneaking into school on the last day of term and have reported this directly to their favourite Master, who immediately reports this to the Head.

She agrees to contact the authorities but only after she has told him her story, if after then he still wants to reach out to the police then she will agree.

When Rebecca was five she went to meet her brother from his school, he never picked her up so she went to meet him. That day he disappeared and through show all she can remember is that he disappeared through green door and that Mr Smallface took him.

But her older brother, Conrad was not as nice a brother as his parents believed and as the story moves on Rebecca tells of how she finally remembers what happened that day in 1989.

Why I Loved It

This was a great read!

I loved the characters, loved the setting and even more so loved how the story kept going back to 1989 to relive the days of Rebeccas life and what actually happened to her brother.

I had no clue as to who the culprit was in the end, in fact I guessed wrong all the way through so the final twist was such a shock and totally unpredictable.

This was such a compelling thriller, I was left guessing all the way through and absolutely loved the female narrative that runs throughout. Even though I knew she has done bad things it didn't make me like her any less and she had cause for it all.




Buy from

๐Ÿ›’ Waterstones

๐Ÿ›’ Amazon

๐Ÿ›’ Bookshop

Meet the author

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French writer, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories.

Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction,

Mythology and fantasy. In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.

CHOCOLAT has sold over a million copies in the UK alone and was a global bestseller. She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherineโ€™s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.


Connect with Joanne




Books by this author

The Strawberry Thief


Different Class


I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?


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